Feb. 15, 2012
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina returns to action on Thursday night as it welcomes The Citadel Bulldogs to the Ramsey Center in Southern Conference action with tip-off scheduled for 7:00 pm. All fans are encouraged to wear pink to Thursday's game in support of the Pink Zone game in support of breast cancer research.
Members of WCU's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) will be on-hand selling "Whee Think Pink" shirts beginning when doors open at 6:00 pm. Proceeds from the sale of the shirts will go towards breast cancer research as a part of SAAC's year-long "Think Pink" initiative.
Thursday's game will be broadcast on the Catamount Sports Network and can be heard locally on WWCU-FM, Power 90dot5 in Cullowhee and 920 AM WPTL in Canton. Live streaming audio through Stretch Internet, video stream through Catamount All-Access and live GameTracker are available online at www.CatamountSports.com.
Western Carolina (10-17, 4-10 SoCon) is looking to halt a three-game slide in league play as it hosts The Citadel in the lone regular season meeting between the two squads. The Catamounts have dropped five-straight to the Bulldogs in the overall series with losses in six of the last seven overall meetings including back-to-back games in the Ramsey Center.
Four Catamounts continue to average double-digit scoring on the season including redshirt senior Harouna Mutombo at 12.7 points per game and redshirt sophomore Trey Sumler, scoring at a 12.6 point per game clip. Senior Keaton Cole, who has posted 18 of his 27 career double-digit scoring outings this season, is averaging a career-best 11.5 points per game while Brandon Boggsrounds out the four with 10.7 points per contest.
Mutombo has moved into 15th in WCU history with 1,434 career points with his 173 career steals ranking fourth on the school's career charts. Meanwhile, classmate Cole has 81 made 3-pointers this year to rank fourth on the single-season record books - just three triples shy of second-place and 18 away from the school record. Cole also has amassed 169 career 3-pointers to move into sixth-place with former Catamount standout Kevin Martinnext on the list with 174 from 2002-04.
In the most recent meeting between the two in Cullowhee, the Catamounts raced out to a 19 point first half lead by opening the game on a 21-to-2 run. WCU expanded its 17-point halftime lead to 21 just two and a half minutes into the second half, but behind now graduated Cameron Wells, The Citadel erased the deficit by holding WCU scoreless over a five-minute second half span in a 70-62 home loss.
The Citadel (4-21, 1-13 SoCon) has lost 10-straight games - all in league play - as it comes into Cullowhee. However, five of those losses came by seven points or less including two extra session losses to Georgia Southern, the second-place team in the SoCon's South Division. Eight of the Cadets' 15 players on roster are freshmen with just one senior.
Junior center Mike Groselle leads the Bulldogs, entering the game tied for the program's most double-double performances in a single-season having tallied a dozen this year. Groselle ranks second in the SoCon in both scoring and field goal percentage, averaging 16.9 points per game on 58.1-percent shooting. He also paces the league in rebounding, averaging over nine boards per game.
WCU enters the game averaging three more points per game offensively (69.3-to-66.4) while limiting its opponents to four and a half fewer points per game (70.1-to-74.7). The Bulldogs have a higher shooting percentage on the season at 43.8-percent against 41.5-percent for the Catamounts, but The Citadel has allowed opponents to shoot a league-worse 49-percent from the floor on the season.
Tip-off on Thursday night is scheduled for 7:00 pm.