Feb. 11, 2012
Greenville, S.C. - Western Carolina erased all but seven points of a 27-point second half deficit against the hot-shooting Furman Paladins on Saturday afternoon, falling 80-66 in Southern Conference action at the Timmons Arena.
Furman, which snapped a two-game losing skid, shot 54-percent (27 of 50) from the floor including a season-best 11-of-20 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc to halt the Catamounts' two-game road win streak in the series.
Sophomore Tawaski King led five Catamounts in double figures with 14 points on a perfect 6-for-6 shooting from the field. Harouna Mutombo scored 13 points and Brandon Boggs - playing in his hometown - scored a dozen. Trey Sumler stretched his current double-digit scoring streak to a career-long 10-straight games with 10 points, matched by classmate Ishmael Hollis with 10 points, six rebounds and three steals off the bench for WCU.
Charlie Reddick, who drained the game-winning 3-pointer that propelled Furman to the victory in Cullowhee back in mid-January, scored 16 points to lead the Paladins (13-13, 7-8 SoCon). Bryant Irwin added 14 points including four 3-pointers while Bobby Austin had 12 and Jordan Loyd finished with nine points for the Paladins.
Including a buzzer-beating long-range 3-pointer by Reddick to end the first half which gave the Paladins a 14-point, 38-24, halftime lead, Furman capitalized on a combined 16-0 run to build a 27-point advantage early in the second half. The home squad scored the first 13 points of the second half before King ended WCU's drought with a hook-shot in the paint at the 15:28 mark.
The Paladins maintained a 60-37 advantage with just under 10 minutes remaining when Mutombo took over for the Catamounts. The senior from Pickering, Ontario, scored nine points in a 20-to-4 Catamount run as WCU turned up the intensity and trimmed the Furman lead to seven, 64-57, on his driving layup with 4:42 left.
However, Furman regained its composure as senior post Brandon Sebirumbi - who was limited to just eight points on the afternoon - scored in the paint on the next possession, grabbed a rebound off of a Western Carolina miss and converted on a pair of free throws on the other end with 3:36 to play to push the Paladin lead to 68-57. Richard Brown then scored eight points over the final three minutes to increase the Furman lead to 80-62 before the final 14-point tally.
Western Carolina managed to out-rebound the Paladins, 35-to-32, but was held to just 2-of-18 shooting from 3-point range.
Western Carolina returns home to host The Citadel on Thursday night in the Ramsey Center. It is a "Pink Zone" game with all fans encouraged to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness. A portion of the proceeds from the game will go to the Kay Yow Foundation for breast cancer research. Members of WCU's Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) will be on hand selling special pink shirts.