MACON, Ga. - The Western Carolina men’s basketball team was unable to overcome an 18-3 second half run Monday night at Mercer. The Bears led by just one point at the half but WCU connected on just 25.9 percent of its second half shots and saw Mercer pull away for the 62-47 victory. The Catamounts leading scorer was freshman forward Adam Sledd who scored 10 points while grabbing three boards.
Junior Haboubacar Mutombo added nine points and five rebounds while junior Devin Peterson had seven points, two assists and two steals. Sophomore Marc Gosselin led the team on the boards with six caroms while also scoring five points and blocking a pair of shots.
Freshman Jason McMillan came off the bench late in the second half and scored six quick points in just two minutes of action as he drained a pair of corner threes.
The loss drops WCU to 7-16 overall and 2-8 in league action while the Bears improved to 11-12 overall and 5-5 in SoCon play.
WCU hung with the Bears in nearly every statistical category except for shooting percentage. Mercer had a slight 33-27 edge on the boards but dropped the turnover battle 11-10.
Both team shot around the 40 percent mark in the opening half with WCU at 41.7 percent and Mercer at 40.0 percent but the second half was another story with WCU dropping to 25.9 percent and the Bears jumping to 55.6 percent.
WCU trailed by just one point with 17:45 to play when the Bears began their 18-3 run which opened up the game and put the victory out of reach for the Catamounts. The lead would eventually balloon to 24 points with just over seven minutes to play but WCU was able to trim the deficit late falling by 15 points at the final buzzer.
The Bears were led by Desmond Ringer on the inside and Ria’n Holland on the outside as they each scored 16 points in the victory.
The Catamounts will not have much time to rest as they travel to Samford on Thursday before taking on preseason favorite Chattanooga on Saturday.