Nov. 23, 2013
Kent, Ohio - A 29 percent field goal percentage in the first half dug Western Carolina a hole they could not overcome as the Catamounts fell 72-58 to USC Upstate in the final game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in the M.A.C. Center.
A travel weary WCU team ends a 10-day, six-game road trip as the Catamounts will return to the Ramsey Center on Tuesday, November 26 at 7 p.m. against Limestone. Dating back to the season opener against Wittenberg on November 8 the Catamounts have played eight games in 15 days including a stretch of four games in six days that also featured a cross-country trip to Oregon.
In the first half the Catamounts 29 percent mark from the field came on 9-of-31 shooting. WCU made only four 3-pointers on 16 attempts for 25 percent from behind in the arc.
USC Upstate, who shot 58 percent in the first 20 minutes, capitalized on WCU's slow start as the Spartans led by as many as 20 points, 43-23, with 2:42 showing before the break. A Tom Tankelewicz 3-pointer was the final basketball of the half as WCU cut the margin down to 17 points, 43-26.
The Spartans held another 20-point lead, 49-29, three minutes into the second half and a 19-point lead, 56-39, with 10:48 left on the clock. WCU found its rhythm and mounted an 11-2 run on seven points from Trey Sumler and four points from Tawaski King to cut the lead down to ten points, 60-50, five minutes later. The Catamounts trimmed the lead down to 64-58 with 1:51 left on a Sumler jumper, but USC Upstate held on and edged out the 72-58 win.
Sumler and Brandon Boggs paced the Catamounts with 16 points each. Sumler came up one rebound shy of back-to-back double-doubles as he collected nine boards; he also had five assists tying for a game-high.
USC Upstate had four players scored in double figures as Ricardo Glenn led the way with 17 points. Glenn was 7-of-9 from the floor; he also made three of his four free throws. Fred Miller followed with 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting and a perfect 4-for-4 from the line. Jodd Maxey and Ty Greene chipped in 11 and 10 points respectively for the Spartans.
The Purple and Gold ended the game at 34 percent overall, 19 percent from three and 64 percent from the line, while the Spartans cooled down slightly to end with a 47 percent field goal percentage. Upstate was 18 percent from behind the arc and 79 percent from the charity stripe.
Western Carolina vs. USC Upstate Game Notes
- WCU won the opening tip for the fifth time this season ... However, USC Upstate scored the first points of the games ... It was the third time this season WCU's opponent scored first.
- USC Upstate scored the first points of the second half; it was the fifth time this season WCU gave up the first points of the second half.
- James Sinclair played 12 minutes in the first half before leaving the game due to injury ... It was the same leg injury that forced him to miss the Niagara game Friday.
- Brandon Boggs' 16 points moved him into 38th place on the Catamount all-time scoring list ... He moved ahead of five former Catamounts -- Gaston Seal 1,016 points, Charlie McConnell 1,018 points, Pat Sharpe 1,022 points and Corey Muirhead 1,025 points.
- With his two made threes Saturday, Trey Sumler moves into eighth place on the WCU career 3-point field goals made list ... Sumler passed Robert Gaines and his 161 made 3s ... He is now three makes behind former Catamount standout and current assistant coach Brigham Waginger at 165 makes;
- Mike Brown tied a career-high with three steals ... The last time he had three steals was just over a year ago on November 21, 2012 against Howard.