Feb. 2, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. - As a part of playing four of its next five games away from the friendly confines of the Ramsey Center, Western Carolina opens a three-game road swing as it visits archrival Appalachian State on Saturday afternoon with a 4:30 pm tip-off at the Holmes Center in Boone.
Saturday's game will be televised on ESPN3 with Darren Goldwater and Dean Keener on the call. The game will also be broadcast by the Catamount Sports Network and can be heard locally on WWCU-FM, Power 90dot5 in Cullowhee; 540 AM WRGC in Sylva; 920 AM WPTL in Canton and ESPN Radio 1310 and 970 AM in Asheville/Canton. Live streaming audio is also available online at www.CatamountSports.com.
Both teams enter Saturday's meeting - the 179th all-time - riding two-game slides and having dropped four of their last five games on the season. Western Carolina (8-13, 5-4 SoCon) has suffered consecutive losses at home to South Division foes Davidson and Georgia Southern while Appalachian State (8-12, 4-5 SoCon) is reeling after defeats at home to the Wildcats and Wednesday night's 13-point loss at the College of Charleston.
Winners of two-straight in the head-to-head series - and four of the last five meetings overall - WCU enters Saturday afternoon's match-up looking for just its eighth regular season sweep all-time against its mountain-rival. The Catamounts took the first meeting, 70-64, in Cullowhee back on Dec. 8 - the earliest meeting between the two foes since 1984-85. Tom Tankelewicz hit five 3-pointers as a part of a team-high 19 points, leading four Catamounts in double figures as WCU overcame a 13-point second half deficit in scoring the home win.
ASU leads the all-time series, 67-111, including a 22-59 edge in games played in Boone. The Mountaineers have won seven of the last eight meetings against WCU at home with the Catamounts snapping a six-game road losing skid with its last road victory in the series in 2011.
Tankelewicz is among four Catamounts averaging double-digit scoring at 10.6 points per game. He has 58 made 3-pointers this year, averaging nearly three treys per game. Coming off a season-low seven points in his last outing, redshirt junior Trey Sumler leads the team - and ranks second in the conference - at 17.6 points per game while juniors Tawaski King (11.5 ppg) and Brandon Boggs (10.4 ppg) round out WCU's four double-digit scorers. Boggs is riding a career-long streak of four-straight double-digit scoring outings, shooting 54-percent from the floor during the current run.
In five career meetings with Appalachian, Sumler is averaging 17 points per game while Boggs is scoring at a 12.4 point per game clip, starting four of his five games against ASU.
The Mountaineers also have four players averaging double-figure scoring and rank among the SoCon's top 30 individual scorers. Jay Canty leads the squad with a 14.3 point per game average to rank 11th in the league while Nathan Healy is averaging 14.2 points per game to rank 12th - a mark that jumps to 15.4 ppg in SoCon games. Canty and Healy are joined in double figures by both Tab Hamilton (10.7 ppg) and Tevin Baskin (10.5 ppg).
Tip-off on Saturday is scheduled for 4:30 pm.