Feb. 13, 2010
Cullowhee, N.C. - Harouna Mutombo scored three of his game-high15 points on a score-tying 3-pointer with four minutes remaining in the second half Saturday night. However, missed opportunities for the Catamounts inside the closing moments allowed Davidson to escape the Ramsey Center with a 75-72 win over Western Carolina.
Davidson's Jake Cohen scored the go-ahead lay-up after three offensive rebounds on one trip to put the Wildcats up for good, 72-70. On the ensuing possession, WCU (18-8, 8-6 SoCon) had three cracks at tying or pulling ahead thanks to offensive boards of its own, but were unable to score, missing three shot attempts.
Mutombo pulled the Catamounts to within two on a lay-up with nine seconds remaining in regulation and Cohen was fouled after a near steal by WCU's Mike Williams on the ensuing inbounds play. Cohen made one-of-two from the free throw line giving Jake Robinson one last look as time expired, but his 3-point shot missed its mark handing Western its third-straight defeat.
All told, Cohen and J.P. Kuhlman combined to make 3-of-4 from the free throw line inside the final 17 seconds to eventually seal the win for the Wildcats, their fifth win in six games.
Mutombo shot 6-of-13 for his 15 points - his fourth-straight, double-digit scoring outing - while adding a game-high eight rebounds and dished out four assists. The Pickering, Ontario, native was joined in double figures by seniors Brandon Giles and Robinson with 13 and 11, respectively.
Williams and Brigham Waginger each just missed double figures with nine points apiece with Waginger passing out three assists and making two steals.
Western Carolina jumped out to a six-point lead in the opening 20 minutes after three-unanswered buckets. Davidson would rally, though, as the first half endured five ties. Consecutive 3-pointers by Robinson at the six minute mark gave the Catamounts their largest lead of the game at eight points, but the Wildcats responded with an 8-0 run to force the fifth tie with WCU holding a three-point, 40-37, edge at halftime.
All told, Saturday night's game saw nine lead changes and seven ties with the Wildcats outscoring WCU 32-to-18 in the paint.
Davidson (13-12, 8-5 SoCon) put five in double figures led by Cohen and Nik Cochran each with 14 points. Ben Allison finished with 12 points and seven rebounds off the bench, with Kuhlman scoring 11 and Steve Rossiter adding 10 in the win for the Wildcats.
Western Carolina's next three games are on the road, beginning Monday night at UNC Greensboro and including stops at The Citadel (Feb. 18) and against Kent State in the ESPN BracketBuster on ESPNU on Saturday, Feb. 20. The Catamounts downed UNCG by 10, 79-69, in Cullowhee back on Jan. 14 and have won three-straight over the Spartans in the head-to-head series.
Tip-off Monday night from the Greensboro Coliseum is set for 7:00 pm.
- Western Carolina dropped its second-straight home game after having won 15-in-a-row dating back to February of last season ... the Catamounts also failed to complete the seasonal sweep of Davidson in dropping their seventh-straight to the Wildcats inside the Ramsey Center ... WCU has not earned consecutive wins over the Wildcats since 1995 and has failed to win at home in the series since 2000;
- The Catamounts dropped their third-straight marking their longest losing skid of the season and the first time they have lost three consecutive games since mid-to-late December a season ago;
- WCU lost for just the second time this season when both leading at halftime (17-2) and leading with 10 minutes remaining in the game (17-2);
- Senior Jake Robinson buried three 3-pointers in the loss to Davidson to give him 263 for his career, moving him into seventh-place all-time in the Southern Conference's career 3-point field goals, by-passing both Elton Nesbitt (262, 2004-06) and Terry Williams (262, 2002-05) - both of Georgia Southern ... Robinson is just seven shy of sixth-place D.J. Thompson of Appalachian State (270, 2004-07).