Nov. 15, 2012
Wichita, Kansas - Four Catamounts scored in double figures paced by a team-high 18 by redshirt junior Trey Sumler, but Western Carolina dropped its opener in the Triple Crown Cancun Challenge to Wichita State, 79-63, Thursday night at the Koch Arena. Cleanthony Early scored 21 points off the bench to pace the Shockers to their third-straight win to start the 2012-13 season.
Sumler stretched his current string of double-digit scoring outings to a career-long tying 10-straight dating back to last season, shooting 7-of-13 from the floor including four 3-pointers while dishing out six assists. Classmate Tom Tankelewicz likewise buried four treys for 12 points while Brandon Boggs and Tawaski King chipped in 11 apiece.
The Shockers (3-0) raced out to an early lead over WCU by scoring the game's first eight points, holding the Catamounts off the scoreboard until the 16:07 mark when Boggs connected on a jumper. Wichita State built its lead to as many as 11 points in the first eight minutes of the game before the Catamounts clawed their way back in.
Using points from five different players, WCU used an 11-to-2 run over a four-minute stretch to pull back within a pair, 21-19, with nine minutes remaining before intermission. However, the Shockers outscored the Catamounts 25-to-6 over the final eight minutes of the half to pull out to a 19-point, 46-27, lead at the break.
In the second half, Western Carolina managed to pull within 13 points twice but both times it was answered by a Shockers' run to keep the double-digit advantage. All told, the Catamounts outscored Wichita State, 36-33, in the second half.
Carl Hall added 16 points to Early's 21 for Wichita State while Evan Wessel poured in 11 points.
Wichita State was near flawless from the charity stripe, finishing 26-of-27 from the free throw line while the Catamounts had trouble getting the charity tosses - connecting on one of just four attempts.
Western Carolina remains on the road this Saturday, Nov. 17, as it faces the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky in Bowling Green, Ky. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 pm ET / 7:30 pm CT at the E.A. Diddle Arena.