Nov. 14, 2013
Eugene, Ore. - The Western Carolina men's basketball team gave No. 18 Oregon a scare behind Trey's Sumler's 29 points in his season debut until the Ducks flew away to an 107-83 win Wednesday night in Matthew Knight Arena.
The Ducks outscored the Catamounts 66-44 in the second half as they improve to 2-0. WCU suffers its first setback of the season as they slip to 2-1.
Sumler poured in a team-high 29 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the floor including three 3-point field goals; he also made six of his eight free throw attempts. The senior guard, making his first appearance of the season after being reinstated from a suspension, tied his career-mark for field goals made in a game. He has scored 20 or more points three straight times and in double-figures 11 consecutive times dating back to last season - during that stretch Sumler has three DNPs. James Sinclair followed with 17 points for his third straight game and fifth straight double-digit game dating back to last season. Tom Tankelewicz chipped in 11 points and joins Sinclair as the only two Catamounts to score in double figures in the first three games of the season. Brandon Boggs came off the bench to add 10 points as the senior guard continues his quest to become the 43rd Catamount all-time with 1,000 career points. The senior guard needs just 30 more points to accomplish the feat.
The Catamounts got off to a hot start as they converted on three of their first four field goal attempts and got three free throws Tankelewicz to lead 10-4 three minutes into play. Leading 12-8 and following a free throw from senior Sumler with 15:48 showing on the clock, WCU went scoreless for the next four and a half minutes until Tawaski King made a free throw, but next field goal would not come until the 8:24 mark from a jumper by King on the baseline. Meanwhile, Oregon mounted a 14-3 run to hold a 22-15 lead following the King basket.
Trailing 28-17 with six and a half minutes left before the break, The Purple and Gold cut the lead down to 32-31 following a 14-4 run on a three from senior Boggs with a Duck defender in his face four minutes later. Following three free throws and layup by Oregon, Boggs went on a 5-0 run with his second three of the half and a dunk to again bring the lead down to one point, 37-36. Baskets by Oregon's Waverly Austin and Damyean Dotson appeared to give Oregon the momentum heading into the half, but WCU scored the final three points on a three-point play from Sinclair after a steal pull the Catamounts within two points, 41-39, at the break.
Oregon came out of the half and took its lead out to 47-49, but threes by Tankelewicz and Sumler brought WCU within four points, 49-45. Oregon mounted an 8-2 run sparked by a corner three from Johnathan Loyd, who came open in the corner following a loose ball scramble, and three-point play from Joseph Young to give the Ducks 10 point lead, 57-47, at the 15-minute mark.
Down 16 points, 71-55, WCU mounted a 12-2 run sparked by eights points from Sumler to cut the lead back down to single digits, 71-63, with nine minutes left on the clock. Four of Sumler's eight points during the spurt came from the free throw line as he put pressure on the Duck defense with drives to the basket.
The two teams traded baskets until the Ducks pushed a 78-70 lead with 7:55 to play out to a 97-77 ignited by eight points from Elgin Cook, including two three-point plays, as Oregon took control of the game with four minutes remaining. The 19-7 run was enough to propel the No. 18 ranked team to the 107-83 win.
Oregon shot a sizzling 65 percent from the floor and 57 percent from behind the 3-point line, while WCU was 46 percent overall and 45 percent from three. The Ducks attempted 16 more free throws than the Catamounts as Oregon went 35-of-47 from the line compared to 20-of-31 for WCU.
The Ducks were led by Young who had a game-high 36 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the floor including 3-of-5 from behind he arc; he also tallied 15 free throws on 16 attempts. Mike Moser added 26 points -- 9-of-14, including three 3-pointers and five three free throws --, and Cook tallied 16 points, 12 of which came in the second half.
WCU continues its current six-game, 10-day road trip as it returns to the east coast at Virginia Tech Friday, November 15 at 7 p.m. The game against the Hookies will be carried on ESPN3 and on the Catamount Sports Network with Daniel Hooker on the call.
WCU vs. Oregon Game Notes
- Preseason All-Southern Conference selection, Trey Sumler, made his first appearance and start of the season ... Sumler was reinstated prior to the game when all charges against him were dismissed ... His first point of the season came on a made free throw with 15:48 in the first half ... Sumler tied his career-high with 10 made field goals in the game as he finished 10-of-15 from the floor.
- WCU is now 0-2 against members of the Pac-12; the Catamounts lost 82-67 to Arizona State on December 2, 1983.
- With the loss WCU is 0-38 all-time against opponents ranked in the top 25 and 0-34 on the road; under head coach Larry Hunter the Catamounts are 0-10 against ranked teams.
- Wednesday's game was the first of four scheduled games on "TV"; WCU's next game, Friday at Virginia Tech is slated for ESPN3 ... at Wofford on Monday, January 20 and vs. Furman on Monday, February 10 will also be on ESPN3 as part of the Southern Conference broadcast schedule.
- WCU lost the opening tip for the second time this season; however, it was the first game WCU did not score first ... Oregon scored on a Mike Moser basket to open the game.
- The Catamounts trailed for the first time this season at the half, 41-39; WCU also trailed at the five-minute mark 91-77 for the first time this season.
- Oregon's Joseph Young, 39 points, became the first player to score over 30 points against WCU since Nik Cocrhan scored 32 points for Davidson on January 24, 2013;
- Mike Moser added 26 points for Oregon marking the first time since Austin Peay on November 20 of last season WCU's opponent had two players score 20 or more points.
- With Oregon's 107 points Wednesday the Ducks became the first WCU opponent dating back to No. 13 Indiana on December 15, 2007 to score 100 or more points ... That is 189 opponents without a team breaking the century mark; WCU had scored 100 or more points six times during that stretch.
- WCU has had three players score in double figures in the first three games of the season for the first time since the first three games of the 2006-07 season ... That year WCU opened at UNC Asheville, at Purdue and against Atlantic Christian.