Jan. 13, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. - Riding a three-game winning streak in the New Year, the Western Carolina Catamounts conclude the current three-game home stand by hosting Southern Conference North Division foe Elon on Monday night, on-campus in the Ramsey Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm.
Monday's game will be broadcast on the Catamount Sports Network with a 6:30 pm air time. Fans can listen to the broadcast locally on WWCU-FM, Power 90dot5 in Cullowhee and 540 AM WRGC in Sylva; on 920 AM WPTL in Canton; and ESPN Radio 1310 and 970 AM in Asheville and Canton.
Fans can additionally catch the game online at CatamountSports.com with live video streaming through Catamount All-Access (subscription) and live streaming audio (free) through Stretch Internet.
Prior to Monday night's game, WCU Athletics in conjunction with Aramark, WCU Residential Living & Carolina West Sports Medicine are all sponsoring a special "Catamounts Pregame Party" on the Ramsey Center concourse. The event runs from from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm and will include a live remote from 99.9 FM Kiss Country. A donation of canned food to benefit The Community Table of Jackson County is required for entry into the pregame festivities.
Fresh off its home victory over UNCG on Saturday afternoon, the Catamounts (7-9) have opened conference play at 4-0, matching the program's best-ever start accomplished back in the 1994-95 season. This year's squad is vying for the hottest start to a league slate in program history which can be accomplished with a victory over Elon on Monday.
Standing in the way, though, is the Phoenix (8-7, 1-2 SoCon) which comes to Cullowhee having dropped back-to-back games after winning two-straight to end the calendar year, 2012. Elon enjoyed a 4-1 start to the season including a road win over SEC-foe, South Carolina.
Preseason prognostications flipped both WCU and Elon between the coaches and media polls with the Phoenix garnering second place in the head coaches' poll while the media chose the Catamounts to finish as the runner-up to UNCG - a team WCU edged over the weekend. The two teams have one common opponent this year in Appalachian State. WCU downed its mountain-rival by six, 70-64, back on Dec. 8 in Cullowhee while Elon fell to the Mountaineers Saturday in Boone by 10.
Both squads boast three players averaging double-digit scoring including a combined three inside the top 10 in the SoCon in scoring. WCU's Trey Sumler ranks second in the league with a 16.9 point per game average, while Elon's Lucas Troutman (14.8 ppg) and Jack Isenbarger (14.3 ppg) rank seventh and 10th, respectively.
WCU and Elon split the regular season meetings a season ago, both winning on the opponent's home court. The Phoenix got 26 points from Isenbarger to win in Cullowhee, 71-63, before Sumler scored 22 at Alumni Gym in Elon as WCU scored a 78-76 overtime victory.
All told, WCU has won seven of the last 10 meetings with the Phoenix, and boasts an 8-2 all-time record inside the friendly confines of the Ramsey Center.
Monday night's game also looms large in the big picture as it is the second of four-straight against North Division foes - UNCG last Saturday and later in the week, meetings at Samford and Chattanooga. A Catamount win on Monday night would guarantee at least a split with three of the five divisional opponents.
Tip-off from the Ramsey Center is scheduled for 7:00 pm.