CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Southern Conference leader Furman travels to Cullowhee Wednesday night to take on the Western Carolina men's basketball team at 7 pm. The Catamounts had a tough outing in Greenville earlier this season and look to avenge the loss against the Paladins in Cullowhee where WCU has won 20 of 31 all-time meetings against Furman. The Paladins are riding a nine-game win streak, which includes the earlier meeting with WCU back in January, while the Catamounts have dropped four-straight contests. The Paladins are paced by guard Devin Sibley who is averaging 17.3 points per game while the Catamounts will counter with redshirt junior Haboubacar Mutombo who is averaging 17.7 points per contest over the last three games. Wednesday night will also serve as "Social Media Night" inside the Ramsey Center. The game will be aired on ESPN3 with audio coverage through the Catamount Sports Network.
Western Carolina (7-19, 2-11 SoCon) vs. Furman (19-8, 12-2 SoCon)
Wednesday, Feb. 15 | 7 p.m. | Cullowhee, N.C. | Ramsey Center (7,826)
TV/Video Stream: ESPN3
Talent: Daniel Hooker (PxP) and Kyle Rush (Analyst)
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
Talent: Gary Ayers (PxP)
Live Stats: CatamountSports.com
Audio Stream: Catamount Sports Network
Twitter Updates: @Catamounts
WCU vs. Furman Opening Tip:
The Catamounts and Paladins meet for the second time this season Wednesday night. Furman jumped all over the Catamounts in the first meeting and led 40-14 at the half before taking a 85-37 victory. WCU shot just 26.8 percent from the field in the contest including 21.4 percent in the first half.
WCU has a 20-11 edge in the series when the game is played in Cullowhee inlcuding winning the last three meetings inside the Ramsey Center. Furman holds the overall 40-29 lead in the series.
Furman has won three of the last four series meetings though WCU has won nine of the last 14 overall.
WCU enters Wednesday's game ranked second in the SoCon in offensive rebounding (12.4 per game). Redshirt junior Haboubacar Mutombo leads the Catamounts, averaging a career-best 11.3 points per game (22nd, SoCon) while Devin Peterson -- coming off a career-high tying 20 points vs. UNCG -- ranks 30th at 9.6 points per game.
The red-hot Paladins come to Cullowhee atop the Southern Conference standings at 12-2 overall and riding a nine-game seasonal win streak. Furman has won nine true road games this season including four-consecutive -- its longest such streak since 1987-88.
The Catamounts head out for their final two road games of the season.
WCU will travel to Wofford on Saturday, Feb. 18 before travelling to The Citadel on Wednesday, Feb. 22.
Catamounts and Paladins
The Catamounts and Paladins rivalry dates back to the 1976-77 season.
WCU trails in the series 29-40 but the Catamounts and Paladins have split the 10 most recent meetings, 5-5.
The Catamounts have won 20 of the 31 meetings all-time in Cullowhee including three-straight over the Paladins.
WCU and Furman split the season series last year with both teams winning on their home courts.
Furman won in Greenville, 62-60 while WCU won in Cullowhee, 73-62.
In the earlier meeting this season, Furman dominated in route to a 85-37 victory. WCU did not have a double-digit scorer in the contest while the Paladins had four including Devin Sibley's game-high 25 points.
Redshirt junior Haboubacar Mutombo is averaging a team-high 17.7 points per game over the last three contests.
The Pickering, Ontario native, has played all but five minutes of the last three games and finished with 19 points at Samford, 17 at Chattanooga and 17 against UNCG.
Mutombo connected on 24-of-40 field goal attempts (60.0%) over the three games and 2-of-4 3-point shots.
He also averaged 5.7 rebounds per game over the span to rank second on the team behind Marc Gosselin (6.7).
Home Sweet Home
Western Carolina is 110-45 inside the Ramsey Center under head coach Larry Hunter.
The Catamounts are currently 5-6 in home contests this season.