March 1, 2014
Birmingham, Ala. - Trey Sumler poured in 27 points leading five different Catamounts in double-figures, but Samford survived the Western Carolina second half comeback as Tim Williams tallied a career-high 32 points guiding the Bulldogs to a 93-86 win Saturday night in the Pete Hanna Center in regular season finale.
WCU's Sumler and Samford's Williams put on a scoring show during the game. Sumler used a variety of different scoring methods utilizing his long-range and mid-range jumper for his 27 points, while Tim Williams put on a clinic in the paint and displayed a solid short-jumper for his career-high 32 points. Sumler finished 8-of-14 overall, 3-of-5 from behind the 3-point arc and 8-of-9 from the free throw line. He also handed out a team-high four assists. Williams missed only two shots all game going 10-of-11 from the field and 12-of-13 from the free throw line.
WCU scored the first point of the game when Brandon Boggs converted on a free throw 49 seconds into play giving the Catamounts its only lead of the first 20 minutes, but the Bulldogs answered and quickly took the lead out to nine points, 14-5, following seven points from Tim Williams with 14:22 to remaining before the break.
The Catamounts threatened a few times, but was never able to chip the lead down to one possession as the Bulldogs used a 71 percent shooting percentage to carry a nine-point lead, 45-36, into the intermission. WCU shot 44 percent from the field, while both teams made 10 free throws. Samford held a significant advantage in the paint, 22-14, highlighted by Tim Williams, who was one-man show in the first half for Samford tallying 19 points on of 9-of-8 shooting from the floor and 3-of-4 from the three throw line.
The Catamounts came out of the break and cut the lead down to three points, 45-42, with a 6-0 run highlighted by four points from Boggs in the first minute and a half of action. Three minutes later, a Trey Sumler 3-pointer trimmed the margin down to two points, 52-50, and WCU finally pulled even at 56 following a Torrion Brummitt 3-point play with 12:19 showing on the clock. However, on the ensuing Samford possession Raijon Kelly scored on a layup as the Bulldogs stayed out in front until Boggs retied the game at 60 following a fast break layup a minute and 15 seconds later.
Again, the Bulldogs answered with a basket on their next possession. This time it was Tim Williams, who answered with a jumper regaining the lead for Samford. The Catamounts stayed close then took its first lead, 68-67, since the first point of the game following four points from Mike Brown with 6:27 remaining. Brown, who ended the game with 11 points all in the second half was a huge spark off the bench for WCU.
Samford answered for the third time on its next possession, this time after following an offensive rebound that led to a Tim Williams slam. The two teams traded baskets until the Bulldogs broke a tie at 78 with a triple by Brandon Roberts that sent Samford on an 8-0 run. The two-minute run which, lifted the Bulldogs out to an 86-78 lead with 1:11 left, was fueled by four free throws from Isaiah Williams and one free throw from Connor Miller.
Samford stretched the margin out to 11 points, 92-81, with 24 seconds to pull, but the Catamounts scored five of the final six points cutting the final Samford deficit down to 93-86.
Samford cooled off in the second half as the Bulldogs shot 48 percent in the frame ending at 60 percent clip on 28-of-47 shooting. WCU picked up its percentage to 52 percent in the second 20 minutes raising its final shooting percentage to 48 percent. Both teams made four 3-pointers and went to the charity stripe with comparable numbers. But, the Bulldogs sank 33 of its 39 attempts for 87 percent, while the Catamounts connected on 28 of its 38 attempts for 74 percent. The Catamounts closed the gap on points in the paint outscoring the Bulldogs 20-14 in the second half as Bulldogs finished with a 36-34 advantage in the lane.
The Purple & Gold held an advantage on the boards grabbing 31 rebounds compared to 27 for Samford; WCU notched 16 second chance points on 15 offensive rebounds.
Three other Catamounts scored in double-digits to go along with Sumler's 27 points and Brown's 11 points. Tawaski King added 12 points - 10 in the second half - and Boggs and Tom Tankelewicz chipped in 11 points and 10 points respectively. Brown also led WCU with seven rebounds.
Trailing Tim Williams' game-high 32 points for the Bulldogs was Micheal Bradley, who added 15 points and seven rebounds. Jordan Capps tallied 11 points, while Connor Miller scored 10 points and collected eight rebounds. Isaiah Williams directed the Samford offense with a game-high six assists.
With loss, WCU ends the regular season at 17-14 overall and 10-6 in the Southern Conference, while Samford improves to 12-19 overall and 6-10 in conference action. The Catamounts will enter the SoCon Tournament as the No. 5 seed and will play No. 4 seeded Elon Saturday, March 8 at 2:30 p.m. in the US Cellular Center in Asheville, N.C.
Western Carolina at Samford Game Notes
- WCU's 17 regular season wins is the most since the 2010-11 team finished 17-14 ... They ended the season at 18-15 after two games in the SoCon Tournament ... WCU's 10-6 mark in the SoCon is also the highest total for conference wins since 2010-11 team went 12-6 in league play.
- Samford's Tim Williams scored 19 points in the first half ... It was the highest total by an opponent's player at the half this season ... Williams ended with a career-high 32 points on 10-of-11 shooting and 12-of-13 from the free throw line.
- WCU had five players score in double figures for the third time this season ... The Catamounts had back-to-back games against Appalachian State on February 8 and against Furman on February 10 ... It was the first time this season WCU accomplished the feat and lost.
- With his 27 point Saturday, Trey Sumler picked up his 11th 20-point performance of the season and the 22nd of his career.
- Sumler continues to move close to the 2,000 career point mark ... After his 27 points Saturday he now has 1,959 career points.
- Mike Brown scored 11 points - all in the second half ... He was a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line ... His seven made free throws is a new career-high for the sophomore.
- Six of the last seven games in the series between Samford and Western Carolina have been decided by less than ten points.