CULLOWHEE, N.C. - For the first time this season, the Western Carolina men’s basketball team will play inside the friendly confines of the Ramsey Center. The Catamounts welcome in the Tigers of Hiwassee College for a 7 pm tip-off Wednesday night. The Tigers are 6-1 this season but are 0-4 all-time against WCU including three-straight losses in Cullowhee over the last three seasons. Head coach Larry Hunter is nearly perfect in home openers at Western Carolina as he carries an 11-1 record into the contest with the lone loss coming to South Carolina in his very first season at WCU. After facing two tough high-major opponents the Catamounts hope to get a notch in the win column Wednesday night before hitting the road for five-straight games including a battle at nationally-ranked Minnesota this Sunday (Nov. 19).
Western Carolina (0-2, 0-0 SoCon) vs. Hiwassee (6-1)
Wednesday, Nov. 15 | 7 p.m. | Cullowhee, N.C. | Ramsey Center (7,826)
Catamounts Versus Hiwassee
• The Catamounts and Tigers have met four times on the hardwood with the first meeting taking place during the 1929-30 season.
• WCU has won all four meetings including the three which took place in Cullowhee in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
• The first game back in 1930 was part of the Southeastern Junior College Tournament which the Catamounts won by taking victories over Hiwassee, Bluefield and Biltmore College which is now known as UNC Asheville.
WCU Versus Non-Division I Opponents
• Western Carolina is 26-0 against non-Division I opponents under the guidance of head coach Larry Hunter.
• The Catamounts have averaged 95 points a game in those contests while holding their opponents to 57 points per game.
• WCU’s last loss against a non-Division I opponent came on Jan. 7, 2003 against Reinhardt College. The Eagles won 64-63.
• The Catamounts are 58-11 in home openers dating back to the 1948-49 season.
• WCU is 11-1 in home openers under head coach Larry Hunter. The lone home opening loss for coach Hunter came during his first season with a loss to South Carolina.
Among the Best
• Head coach Larry Hunter is eighth among active Division I coaches in career wins with 689.
• He trails Mike Krzyzewski (1,073, Duke), Jim Boeheim (904, Syracuse), Bob Huggins (819, West Virginia), Roy Williams (817, North Carolina), Rick Byrd (755, Belmont), Cliff Ellis (734, Coastal Carolina) and John Beilein (693, Michigan).
• Coach Hunter ranks just ahead of John Calipari (654, Kentucky) and Rick Barnes (636, Tennessee).
• Coach Hunter also ranks 29th on the all-time Division I victories list ahead of greats like Denny Crum (31st), Gary Williams (32nd) and John Wooden (33rd).