Feb. 28, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina opens its final two-games of the regular season on Thursday night as it hosts divisional foe, Chattanooga, at 7:00 pm in the Ramsey Center. It is the 80th all-time meeting between the Catamounts and Mocs on the men's basketball hardwood.
Thursday night'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; 540 AM WRGC in Sylva; 920 AM WPTL in Canton; and on ESPN Radio 1310 & 970 AM in Asheville and Canton.
Fans can additionally catch the game online at CatamountSports.com with live GameTracker (free), live video streaming through Catamount All-Access (subscription) and live streaming audio (free) through Stretch Internet.
WCU VS. UTC - THE SERIES:
Western Carolina trails in the all-time series with Chattanooga, 22-57, but has won back-to-back games to match its series-long streak ... the Catamounts claimed the first meeting at McKenzie Arena back on Jan. 19, halting a five-game road losing skid while also scoring just its third win all-time at UTC (3-32) ... It was WCU's first road win in the series since 2007 ... WCU has won six of the last 10 meetings with the Mocs;
WCU and UTC have split the two regular season meetings for six-straight seasons with the Catamounts looking for their first-ever series sweep over the Mocs; WCU has won five-straight meetings inside the Ramsey Center over Chattanooga, last dropping a home game on Feb. 12, 2007;
WCU and UTC have swapped or shared the SoCon's North Division crown in three of the past six seasons with Elon winning the 2013 divisional title.
ABOUT TODAY'S OPPONENT - THE CHATTANOOGA MOCS:
Chattanooga comes to Cullowhee on the heels of defeating divisional leader, Elon, at home to halt a two-game slide ... the Mocs have won three of their last five games overall but have dropped five-straight road games ... In the SoCon North Division, UTC is 4-4 including a 1-2 mark away from McKenzie Arena;
Chattanooga is one of the SoCon's top rebounding team, ranking second in the league with a +5.0 rebound margin while averaging a SoCon-best 13.4 offensive rebounds per game ... the Mocs rank at the bottom of the SoCon in 3-point shooting, averaging just 29.8-percent shooting from long range - conversely, UTC is allowing opponents to shoot 36.6% from beyond the arc;
UTC has two players averaging double-digit scoring in Z. Mason (10th, 14.6 ppg) and Gee McGhee (20th, 12.4 ppg) ... Mason's points jump to 15.6 ppg in league-only games, fourth overall ... Mason also leads UTC in rebounding, averaging 7.3 boards per game.
SOCON STORYLINES - TOURNAMENT SEEDING SCENARIOS:
The top three byes are set with Davidson (15-1) and Elon (12-4) taking the top two seeds as divisional champions and College of Charleston as the third seed (12-4) ... Samford (9-7) can clinch the fourth-seed with a win at Appalachian State on Thursday night;
Western Carolina (8-8) must win out Thursday vs. UTC and Saturday vs. Samford, finishing 10-8 AND have Samford drop both games (at ASU, at WCU) AND Appalachian State must split - defeating Samford, losing to UTC - to earn the fourth seed and bye;
UTC is still mathematically eligible to retain the final bye for the Southern Conference Championship. If the Mocs sweep Western Carolina and Appalachian State, while the Catamounts and Mountaineers top Samford, then UTC wins the tiebreaker scenarios for the No. 4 seed in the tourney.
WESTERN CAROLINA VS. CHATTANOOGA - OPENING TIPS:
Four Catamounts scored in double figures paced by the double-double effort of Trey Sumler as Western Carolina scored a rare road victory over the Chattanooga Mocs, 90-81, at the McKenzie Arena ... WCU built a 16-point second half lead and withstood numerous runs by UTC down the stretch to score the program's first road victory in the series since 2007;
In five career meetings with UTC, Trey Sumler is averaging 15.0 points and 8.4 assists per game ... Brandon Boggs is averaging 10.2 points per game in five games vs. the Mocs;
In the first meeting with Chattanooga, Trey Sumler matched a career-high with 12 assists in scoring a double-double, adding 25 points in the winning effort ... Sumler has five career double-doubles including two against Chattanooga, both coming at the McKenzie Arena the past two seasons ... Tom Tankelewicz made a career-high seven 3-pointers in the win at UTC, surpassing his previous career high of six against No. 15 Georgetown earlier this season ... Tankelewicz made his first five 3-pointers in the first half before his first miss ... James Sinclair recorded his second career double-digit rebounding performance, pulling down a game-high 10 boards in the win;
WCU shot 53.4-percent from the field against the Mocs, the second-best shooting percentage for the Catamounts this season - and the best against a NCAA Division I team;
Junior Brandon Boggs broke out of a mini-slump shooting with his 9-for-14, 26-point outing from the floor against Coastal Carolina ... In the four games prior, the Greenville, S.C., native had shot just 9-of-35 (25.7%) from the field and was averaging just 6.25 points during the same span.
CHARTING THE CATAMOUNTS ON WCU'S RECORD BOOKS:
Redshirt junior guard Trey Sumler has moved into the Top 10 on THREE of WCU's career statistical categories:
- With 349 career assists, Sumler has moved into 10th place on the school's career chart, by-passing Quentin Moore who had 331 assists from 1981-84 ... Sumler has passed out five-or-more helpers in a single game eight times this season;
- Sumler has moved into ninth with 143 career thefts, passing Richard Gainey who had 136 career steals from 1990-93 and past Greg Dennis (1979-82) who had 142 career steals;
- Sumler hit one 3-pointer against Coastal Carolina last Saturday to give him 148 made 3-pointers in his career ... He moved past Terry Boyd who had 142 career 3-pointers from 1991-92;
Sumler now has 1,377 career points to rank 18th in program history ... He most recently leapfrogged Bubba Wilson (20th) who scored 1,350 points from 1975-78 and Cory Largent (19th) who posted 1,360 career points from 1999-2002;
Tom Tankelewicz has hit 75 3-pointers on the season, moving past Kevin Martin for sixth on the school's single-season list, by-passing Martin's 2001-02 season where he made 73 treys ... A native of Apex, N.C., Tankelewicz has twice made a career-high seven 3-pointers in a game this season.