Josh Mendenhall slams home two points against No. 15 Georgetown on Saturday at the Verizon Center. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Dec. 15, 2012
Washington, D.C. - Tom Tankelewiczpaced Western Carolina with a career-high 24 points including six made 3-pointers, but it was not enough as No. 15 Georgetown held off the Catamounts' upset bid for an 81-68 victory Saturday afternoon at the Verizon Center.
Georgetown improved to 9-1 on the season while Western Carolina dropped to 4-7 overall.
Tankelewicz finished 8-of-14 from the floor including 6-for-11 from beyond the 3-point arc to lead a trio of Catamounts in double figures. The Apex, N.C., native matched two of his teammates with a team-best four rebounds, all coming on the offensive end. Redshirt junior Trey Sumler scored 11 points off the bench while Preston Rossbattled through foul trouble to score 10 on 4-for-4 shooting including a four-point play after being fouled on a made 3-pointer in the first half.
Junior Brandon Boggs and sophomore James Sinclair- who ran the point a large portion of the first half - both recorded seven points apiece with the latter dishing out four assists.
Greg Whittington paced four Hoyas in double figures with a double-double effort of a career-high 25 points and 11 rebounds. Jabril Trawick added a career-best 14 points and Otto Porter Jr., had 12 for the Hoyas which won their sixth-straight game.
Tankelewicz sparked an early rally that saw the Catamounts jump out to a seven-point, 13-to-6, lead in the opening stanza. However, Georgetown slowly melted the WCU advantage, taking the lead for what proved to be for good on a Whittington lay-up midway through the first half.
Sinclair drained a 3-pointer just inside of five minutes to play before the break to pull the Catamounts back within two, 29-27. However, WCU was outscored 13-to-3 the final four minutes as Georgetown took a 12-point, 42-30, lead into intermission.
After the half, the Hoyas stretched their lead to 20 points just five minutes into the frame thanks to a 14-to-6 run, and managed a game-high 26-point edge, 66-40, off a Markel Starks lay-up at the 11:24 mark. The Catamounts would not simply go away, though. A trio of 3-pointers on three-consecutive possessions inside the final two and a half minutes closed WCU to within 12 with 1:37 remaining. But, turnovers on WCU's final two possessions allowed Georgetown to close out the game and score the victory.
WCU was outrebounded by seven, 34-to-27, and took just one fewer shot from the field than did the Hoyas, 53-to-52. However, Georgetown scored 23 points from the free throw line, enjoying a 33-to-14 edge in free throw attempts.
Western Carolina returns to action this Friday, Dec. 21, as the Catamounts travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to face the Tennessee Volunteers. Tip-off from Thompson-Boling Arena is scheduled for 7:00 pm in a game that will be televised on Fox Sports Net.
Note: Technical difficulties at the Verizon Center on Saturday afternoon prevented the airing of interviews with WCU head coach Larry Hunterboth pregame and post-game. The Catamount Sports Network regrets these unforeseen circumstances on both occurrences. Below are both the pregame and post-game interviews with Hunter:
Catamount Travel Center Coaches' Comments - Hunter Pregame
Champion Credit Union Post-game Interview - Hunter Post-game Comments
Western Carolina at No. 15 Georgetown - Post-Game Notes:
- Western Carolina saw its two-game winning streak against teams from the Big East snapped on Saturday ... the Catamounts entered Saturday's game following wins over Louisville (2009) and DePaul (2010) in the most recent meetings with the Big East ... WCU is 2-11 all-time against current members of the Big East;
- WCU dropped to 0-38 all-times against teams ranked inside the national Top 25 ... the Catamounts did score one victory over then 29th-ranked Louisville, which had just fallen from the Top 25 just before the game with WCU;
- Guards Trey Sumler and Brandon Boggswere both held out in the first half, serving a suspension for missing a team meeting on Friday evening at the team hotel in Washington, D.C. ... Sumler managed to score double figures, playing the final 20 minutes, while Boggs scored seven on 17 minutes of action ... Not starting on Saturday afternoon snapped Sumler's string of 66-consecutive starts for WCU;
- Freshman guard Mike Brownmade his first collegiate start at No. 15 Georgetown ... Brown finished with two points, three rebounds and two assists.