Nov. 28, 2012
Cullowhee, N.C. - Fresh off its holiday trip to Cancun, Mexico, the Western Carolina men's basketball team opens its 2012-13 Southern Conference schedule on Wednesday night as it visits Timmons Arena and Furman in the league lid-lifter for both squads.
Wednesday's game will be broadcast on the Catamount Sports Network and can be heard on the radio locally on WWCU-FM, Power 90dot5 in Cullowhee; 540 AM WRGC in Sylva; and 920 AM WPTL in Canton. Fans can also tune in online at www.CatamountSports.com. Air time is 6:30 pm ahead of the 7 pm tip-off.
Western Carolina and Furman meet for the 63rd time in the all-time series including the 30th series meeting in Greenville, S.C., and just the 10th at the on-campus Timmons Arena. The Catamounts trail in the head-to-head series, 25-37, including dropping both meetings a season ago, halting what was a five-game winning streak for WCU. Furman's Charlie Reddick snapped WCU's previous five-game unbeaten streak with a last second 3-pointer in Cullowhee on Jan. 14.
In the nine previous meetings at Timmons Arena, WCU is 2-7. The Catamounts ended a six-game drought with their first-ever victory in the venue in 2008-09.
Furman took both games a season ago as Paladin guard Charlie Reddick drained his lone field goal of the game on a last-second 3-pointer in a 58-55 victory in the Ramsey Center, snapping WCU's five-game series win streak. The Paladins followed that win up with an 80-66 decision in Greenville, building a 27-point second half lead over the Catamounts at Timmons Arena.
WCU (2-4) enters Wednesday's game having snapped a three-game slide with a two-point victory over Howard in the third place game of the Mayan Division in the Triple Crown Sports 2012 Cancun Challenge last Wednesday. Redshirt junior Tom Tankelewicz sank a pair of free throws to break the game's fifth tie to propel the Catamounts to the victory.
Redshirt junior Trey Sumler leads four Catamounts in double-figure scoring with an 18.0 point per game average - currently second in the SoCon. Junior post Tawaski King is averaging a career-best 14.0 points and team-leading 5.5 rebounds while Brandon Boggs (10.3 ppg) and Tom Tankelewicz (10.0 ppg) rounding out WCU's four leading scorers.
Furman slipped to 2-3 on the young season with a 73-46 loss at Mercer in its first road contest of the season on Sunday night. The Paladins were guilty of 25 turnovers in the loss as the Bears used a 32-6 run to begin the second half and put the game away. The 27-point margin marked the largest loss for the Paladins since December of 2009.
The Nov. 28 date for this year's SoCon opener is the second earliest for WCU since joining the league in 1976-77 - and just the third, November start to conference play in program history with all three games coming on the road. The Catamounts are 1-1 in previous November SoCon games, winning 81-75 over Wofford in Spartanburg in 2006 and falling at Elon on Nov. 27, 2007, in the earliest conference game for WCU.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm.