CULLOWHEE, N.C. - The Western Carolina men's basketball team continues its three game road swing Thursday night as the Catamounts visit the Bulldogs of Samford University. The Bulldogs narrowly escaped Cullowhee last month with a 70-65 victory and the Catamounts look to return the favor in Birmingham. The Catamounts have won two of their last five contests on the season and hope to carry that momentum into a victory over the Bulldogs. Samford has also won two of its last five games and dropped a heartbreaking 96-86 double-overtime contest to ETSU in its last home game. The Catamounts and Bullodgs will tip-off at 8 pm Thursday night. The game will be aired on ESPN3 with audio coverage through the Catamount Sports Network.
Western Carolina (7-16, 2-8 SoCon) at Samford (14-8, 5-4 SoCon)
Thursday, Feb. 2 | 8 p.m. | Birmingham, Ala. | Pete Hanna Center (5,000)
TV/Video Stream: ESPN3
Talent: Chris Stewart (PxP), Bill Jones (Analyst) and Hattie Breece (Sideline)
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
Talent: Daniel Hooker (PxP)
Live Stats: SamfordSports.com
Audio Stream: Catamount Sports Network
Twitter Updates: @Catamounts
WCU vs. Samford Opening Tip:
The Catamounts and Bulldogs meet for the second time this season Thursday night. Samford led for most of the 40 minutes in the first meeting but a 16-2 run by the Catamounts midway through the second half gave WCU its first lead of the game. The Bulldogs responded with a 14-2 run of their own to claim the five point victory in Cullowhee.
WCU has just two wins all-time in Birmingham over the Bulldogs with the last coming during the 2011-12 season.
The Catamounts and Bulldogs have faced eight similar opponents this season including Chattanooga, The Citadel, ETSU, Furman, Mercer, UNCG, VMI and Wofford. WCU is 2-7 in those contests with wins at home over The Citadel and Wofford while Samford went 4-4 with victories at UNCG, The Citadel and VMI and a home victory over Wofford.
WCU placed four scorers in double-figures in the first meeting with Samford including Onno Steger (15), Elijah Pughsley (12), Marc Gosselin (12) and Devin Peterson (10). All told, the Catamounts hit 10 3-pointers in the contest including five from Steger and 4 from Pughsley.
Samford was led by Demetrius Denzel-Dyson who had 15 points while Wyatt Walker had a double-double (11 pts./12 reb.).
The Catamounts close out their final three-game road swing of the season on Saturday.
WCU will head to Tennessee to face the Mocs of Chattanooga on Saturday at 5 pm.
Catamounts Versus Bulldogs
The Catamounts and Bulldogs first met during the 1969-70 season. The game counted as a forfeit victory for the Catamounts, 2-0.
The series would remain dormant till the 2008-09 season when WCU and Samford first met in Southern Conference action. The Catamounts lost that first conference meeting 76-64 in Birmingham.
WCU leads the all-time series 10-8 but the Bulldogs have won five of the last six meetings.
The Catamounts are just 2-6 all-time in games against the Bulldogs in Birmingham.
Gosselin Goes Off
Sophomore Marc Gosselin scored a career-high 15 points in the victory over Wofford Saturday night.
The forward nearly picked up a double-double as he tied for the team lead in rebounding with nine boards.
He hit four-straight free throws in the final 20 seconds of action to keep the Terriers at bay and finished 5-of-6 at the charity stripe in the game.