Dec. 11, 2010
Columbus, Ohio -
Looking to snap a three-game losing skid, the Western Carolina men's basketball team visits second-ranked Ohio State on Sunday afternoon at the historic St. John Arena on the OSU Campus. Tip-off is set for 2:00 pm with streaming video available online through BigTenNetwork.com.
Sunday afternoon's game will be broadcast on the Catamount Sports Network and can be heard on WWCU-FM, Power 90dot5 in Cullowhee; 680 AM WRGC in Sylva and 920 AM WPTL in Canton, as well as online at CatamountSports.com.
Sunday's meeting is the first-ever on the men's basketball hardwood. The Catamounts have played eight of the 11 current members of the Big Ten Conference in men's basketball, playing all but Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. WCU is 0-11 all-time against current members of the Big Ten, last facing both Illinois and Indiana during the 2007 season.
The closest WCU has come to upsetting a Big Ten foe came in the 1996 NCAA tournament as the No. 16 seed Catamounts fell by two, 73-71, to Purdue in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
On the other side, the Buckeyes are 9-4 overall vs. teams representing the Southern Conference with three losses all-time to Davidson and one to Chattanooga.
Sunday's game will be played at St. John Arena, which played host to its final full season as the home of Ohio State basketball in 1997-98 after 42 years. Ohio State's record in St. John Arena is a glistening 430-151 - a winning percentage of .740. Between 1960 and 1964, the Buckeyes won 50-consecutive games on their home floor.
OSU enters Sunday's game following a home win over IUPUI on Thursday night to remain unbeaten in seven games this season.
Driving through the night following Friday night's game at Campbell, Western Carolina (4-7) arrived in Columbus on Saturday morning and held a spirited practice that evening at St. John Arena. The team reemphasized some fundamental basics and put up a lot of shots, while also altering the team's approach and mindset entering Sunday's game.
Tip-off is set for 2:00 pm on Sunday afternoon.
Additional Game Notes for Sunday's Game:
FAMILIAR FACES - CURRENT BUCKEYES, FORMERLY FELINES:
Current Ohio State head coach Thad Matta was the top assistant to former WCU head coach Phil Hopkins during the Catamounts' 1996 South Division and Tournament Championship run ... Matta spent one season on the bench with Hopkins and the Catamounts ... Also, Buckeye assistant coach Jeff Boals played for Larry Hunter during Hunter's tenure at Ohio University ... Boals was on the Hunter-led squad in 1994 that won the MAC Championship, as well as claiming the preseason NIT and beating Ohio State on the road during the year.
Larry Hunter VS. OHIO STATE ALL-TIME:
WCU head coach Larry Hunter is 1-3 all-time on the bench against Ohio State including one game as an assistant at N.C. State ... As the head coach at Ohio Univ., Hunter went 1-2 with the win coming on Nov. 16, 1994 - a 78-64 victory in Columbus, Ohio as a part of winning the Preseason NIT ... it was the season opener for the Buckeyes ... The last time Hunter coached against Ohio State - Nov. 27, 2001 as an assistant at N.C. State as the Wolfpack lost 64-50 in Columbus, Ohio in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge ... Hunter also went 1-1 as a player at Ohio Univ., Winning at St. John Arena on Dec. 12, 1969 (W, 82-80).