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Sizzling Start Lifts Davidson Over Western Carolina Thursday

Brandon Boggs with a SportsCenter Top-10 worthy slam in the second half against Davidson

Jan. 23, 2014

Box Score |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 

Cullowhee, N.C. - Davidson shot a scorching 72 percent from the field, 18-of-25, and 75 percent from behind the 3-point arc, 9-of-12, in the first half and survived Western Carolina's second half charge as the Wildcats handed the Catamounts their first home loss of the 2013-14 season, 82-77, Thursday night in front of a raucous Ramsey Center crowd in a Southern Conference showdown.

In the first half, Davidson came out hot as the Wildcats held a 41-22 lead at the six-minute mark. The Wildcats had made eight of their first 10 attempts from the behind arc up until that point of the game. However, the Wildcats made only two shots from the field over the final six minutes as the Catamounts closed the half on a 19-6 run to cut the Davidson lead down to 47-41 at the break. WCU received triples from Trey Sumler, Mike Brown and James Sinclair during the closing run.

Davidson was a sizzling 75 percent from the floor and 75 percent from behind the arc, 9-of-12. After a slow start, WCU ended the half at 47 percent overall, and 50 percent from long range, 5-of-10.

The Wildcats pushed the margin back to double-digits, just over two minutes into play with the first six points of the half highlighted by the a Tom Droney trey. Droney's 3-pointer was the only 3-point field goal of the half by Davidson.

Davidson kept the double-figure lead until WCU trimmed a 67-58 deficit with 7:30 remaining down to 68-66 two and a half minutes with a 8-1 run highlighted by a Brandon Boggs four-point play. The Wildcats answered with the next four points to take the margin out to six points, 72-66. The Purple & Gold again fought back and trimmed the lead down to two points, 74-72, on a putback by Tom Tankelewicz following a rebound on his own missed shot with a minute remaining. However, WCU could not come up with a stop on defense to force the game down to one possession over the final minute as the Wildcats held on for the 82-77 win.

Davidson cooled off in the second half as the Wildcats made 10 of its 24 shots in the second stanza to end the game at 57 percent from the floor. Davidson made only one 3-pointer to end the game at 59 percent from long range. Western Carolina made only 13 of its 33 second half attempts from the floor for a 39 percent field goal percentage bring its overall field goal percent down to 42 percent for the game. The Catamounts held a 41 percent 3-point percentage knocking down seven of their 17 shots from behind the arc.

The Wildcats outrebounded the Catamounts by a considerable margin, 40-25, but WCU won the turnover battle 22-6. The plus-16 turnover margin is the largest margin by the Catamounts this season.

Davidson (9-11, 5-1) placed four scorers in double-figures led by Chris Czerapowicz, who went 7-of-11 from the field with two threes for 19 points. Jack Gibbs, who came off the bench for the Wildcats, and Tyler Kalinoski added 15 points each. De'Mon Brooks tallied 12 points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting performance from the field and 4-of-7 performance from the free throw line.

Sumler, who was 5-of-17 from the field, 3-of-6 from behind the arc and 3-of-5 from the free throw line for 16 points, led Western Carolina (11-10, 4-1). Sinclair added 15 points, while Boggs chipped in 14 points including two thunderous dunks over Davidson defenders. All 14 of Boggs' points came in the second half. Mike Brown scored nine points for the Catamounts without missing a shot in the game. Brown was 3-for-3 from the field including a 3-pointer. He also made his only free throw attempt.

The Catamounts look to halt their two-game skid at The Citadel Saturday, January 25 with tipoff slated for 7 p.m. The Bulldogs are winless in the SoCon after suffering an 80-67 loss to Appalachian State Thursday. The Catamounts are 30-34 all-time against the Bulldogs.

Western Carolina vs. Davidson Game Notes
- With the loss, WCU slips to 11-10 overall and 4-2 in the SoCon ... The Catamounts suffered their first home loss of the 2013-14 season ... WCU had started 8-0 in the Ramsey Center;

- That is the final regular season meeting between Western Carolina and Davidson as Southern Conference opponents ... The Wildcats are leaving the SoCon for A-10 following the season.

- Davidson shot 75 percent from the floor in the first half ... It was the best percentage by a WCU opponent on the season in the first half and in a half on the season ... No. 18 Oregon shot 74 percent in the second half on November 13;

- The Wildcats were also 75 percent from behind the arc, 9-of-12, in the first half ... It was also the second highest 3-point percentage given up by the Catamounts in a half ... No. 18 Oregon was 7-of-8 for 87 percent in the second half of the game on November 13 ... Davidson ended 59 percent from behind the arc after going 1-of-5 in the second half.

- Brandon Boggs had the Catamounts third four-point play of the season at the 6:47 mark in the second half ... Boggs was fouled shooting a 3-pointer from the right wing and made the free throw ... Trey Sumler had WCU's last four-point play with a 3-pointer and the foul shot against Samford on January 18.

- James Sinclair finished with 15 points -- his fifth consecutive game in double figures ... The streak is the longest of the season for Sinclair.

Trey Sumler recorded his 15th consecutive double-digit game with a team-leading 16 points against Davidson;

- With his 16 points, Sumler moves into fifth place on the WCU all-time scoring list with 1,795 career points ... He passed Greg Dennis, who scored 1,793 points from 1978-82.

- Attendance for Thursday was 3,002 -- the largest home crowd of the 2013-14 season;

- During half time, WCU student Simms Hicks, a sophomore, was surprised by her father Major Jimmy Hicks ... Simms presented WCU Chancellor, David Belcher, and Director of Athletics, Randy Eaton, with an American flag that was sent from Afghanistan by Major Hicks ... The flag was flown over the battleground of Camp Leatherneck during Operation Enduring Freedom ... Major Hicks was wearing the Paws' costume - the WCU mascot - and was on the floor during the presentation ... Major Hicks removed the Paws' head gear surprising his daughter.