Feb. 10, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. - Brandon Boggs scored nine of his team-high 18 points as a part of a 17-to-5 Catamount run to start the second half as Western Carolina held on to earn a 71-62 Southern Conference road victory over Georgia Southern Saturday night at Hanner Field House.
WCU (9-15, 6-6 SoCon) snapped a season-long, four-game winless drought which included a home loss to GSU back on Jan. 26. The road win also ended a two-game slide against the Eagles (10-15, 4-8 SoCon).
Boggs paced three Catamounts in double figures, finishing 8-of-11 from the floor with a pair of 3-pointers - both coming during WCU's run out of the halftime locker room. The Greenville, S.C., native added two highlight-reel dunks on the night. Trey Sumler posted 17 points with a pair of assists while Dublin, Ga., native Tawaski King scored 14 points and pulled down five rebounds.
Tom Tankelewicz just missed a double-double, scoring nine points and boarding a career-high tying eight misses including four on the offensive end.
For the Eagles, C.J. Reed led the way with a game-high 20 points including three 3-pointers, scoring 14 in the first half. He was joined in double figures by Brian Holmes with 13. WCU held Eagles' leading scorer, Eric Ferguson, to just seven points, five of which came from the free throw line as he was 1-for-6 from the field.
Saturday night's see-saw first half was capped by both teams draining 3-pointers inside the final minute before intermission. Freshman Rhett Harrelson gave the Catamounts a three-point, 34-31, edge on WCU's final first half possession. However, Reed found room for a game-tying trey just before the first half buzzer to send the teams to the break deadlocked at 34.
Turning up the defensive pressure in the second half, WCU stormed out of the halftime locker room with the 17-to-5 run to pull ahead by a dozen, 51-39, at the 12:40 mark. While the Catamounts continued to shoot well from the floor, the Eagles struggled, missing nine of their first 10 shots after intermission enabling WCU to build a double-digit lead.
Just inside the nine minute mark, Tankelewicz buried 3-pointer off a pass from James Sinclair to pull out to a game-high 15-point lead. However, seven-unanswered points by the Eagles over the next two minutes pull the home squad to within eight, 60-52.
Two free throws by Marvin Baynham at the three-minute mark closed the deficit to five points, 63-58, but buckets by Sinclair and Boggs on consecutive possessions stretched it back to nine. Tankelewicz and Sumler combined to make all four free throw attempts inside the final 36 seconds to secure the win.
WCU shot 52.7-percent from the floor, the third-best percentage in a game this year and fourth-time this season the Catamounts have made over half of their shots from the field. The Catamounts outscored the Eagles 36-to-22 in the paint while also winning the battle of the boards, outrebounding GSU 37-to-29 including 12 offensive rebounds.
Western Carolina has another quick turnaround, returning to the court on Monday night as it hosts the Wofford Terriers in the Ramsey Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm.
Western Carolina at Georgia Southern - Post-Game Notes:
- Western Carolina halted a four-game seasonal losing skid, picking up its first win since Jan. 19 - a 90-81 road win at Chattanooga ... Three of WCU's last five victories - and two-straight - have come on the road (at GSU, at UTC, at The Citadel);
- The win also split the two regular season meetings with Georgia Southern, avenging the six-point, 72-66, home loss back on Jan. 26 ... WCU has won two-straight at Hanner Field House, coming on the heels of having dropped six-straight to the Eagles on the road;
- Tom Tankelewicz matched a career-high with eight rebounds, duplicating his performance from earlier this season at Eastern Kentucky ... the Apex, N.C., native's eight rebounds were his most in a SoCon game;
- Tankelewicz moved to within TWO made 3-pointers of climbing onto WCU's single-season top 10 chart ... He currently has a team-leading 62 treys on the season, just short of a three-way tie for 10th between Jake Robinson (2006-07), Casey Rogers (1998-99) and David Donerlson (1989-90) who each had 64 made 3's in a season;
- With two made 3-pointers at Georgia Southern, Trey Sumler moved to within THREE 3-pointers of making WCU's career 3-pointers made chart ... Sumler has 139 career 3-pointers, just behind Terry Boyd who had 142 3-pointers from 1991-92;
- Sumler currently has 1,275 career points to remain in 24th place in school history ... He is just 12 points shy of 23rd-place Jake Robinson who had 1,287 career points.