CULLOWHEE, N.C. - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Sean Forrester Dec. 16, 2017 Cell: 205.540.6238 Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgMen's Basketball Faces Mountain Rival Inside the U.S. Cellular Center Cullowhee, N.C. - The Western Carolina men's basketball team will face longtime mountain rival UNC Asheville Sunday afternoon inside the U.S. Cellular Center in the 2017 Asheville Mountain Classic. Catamount fans can get an early glimpse of two future WCU opponents in the opening game of the doubleheader as fellow Southern Conference member Wofford battles High Point at 2 p.m. The Bulldogs snapped a three-game winning streak by WCU in the series last season with a close 59-57 victory inside Kimmel Arena. The meeting was the 50th all-time in the rivalry which dates back to 1930. Sunday afternoon's contest will mark the first neutral site meeting between the two programs. The Catamounts hold a 28-22 edge in the rivalry but the two programs have split the last 10 meetings. The game will be streamed on the Big South Network with audio coverage courtesy of the Catamount Sports Network which will have an additional affiliate Sunday afternoon as Asheville's WISE Sports Radio 1310 AM & 97.3 FM will carry the contest.
Western Carolina (3-7, 0-0 SoCon) vs. UNC Asheville (6-4, 0-0 Big South)
Sunday, Dec. 17 | 4:30 p.m. | Asheville, N.C. | U.S. Cellular Center (7,200)
Video Stream: Big South Network
Talent: Matt Stradley (PxP) and John Williams (Analyst)
Radio: Catamount Sports Network
Talent: Gary Ayers (PxP) and Daniel Hooker (Analyst)
Live Stats: CatamountSports.com
Twitter Updates: @Catamounts
Catamounts Versus Bulldogs
The Catamounts and Bulldogs have met 50 times on the hardwood with WCU holding the slight 28-22 advantage in the series.
WCU and UNCA have split the last 10 meetings 5-5 with WCU winning three of the last four.
The Bulldogs edged WCU 59-57 inside Kimmel Arena last season as the Catamount attempted a second half comeback. The victory snapped a three-game win streak for the Catamounts in the series.
The series dates all the way back to 1930. Asheville won the first meeting 31-28 on Feb. 3, 1930.
WCU Versus Big South
Sunday afternoon's game will mark the first of back-to-back meetings for the Catamounts against a Big South opponents.
WCU will welcome in Big South member High Point on Dec. 19 for the second-straight year after taking on UNC Asheville.
Western Carolina has an extensive history against many current members of the Big South Conference. The Catamounts have played all but two members of the conference at least once in men's basketball. The only two the Catamounts have not faced are Longwood and Winthrop.
The Catamounts are currently 99-80 in games against current members of the Big South.
Junior transfer Mike Amius had the best game of his Catamount career at the College of Charleston.
The forward scored a career-high 22 points while knocking down six of his eight shot attempts and nailing 10 of his 12 free throws in the contest.
He added seven rebounds, an assist and a block.
Amius scored 13 of WCU's first 15 points in the game as he kept the Catamounts ahead of the Cougars early on.
The magic continued against Appalachian State as Amius slammed home the go-ahead basket with seven seconds left in the game.
He finished with 19 points and seven rebounds in the victory.
Tale of Two Halves
Western Carolina's victory over Appalachian State was a tale of two halves for the Catamount offense.
WCU registered its lowest first half shooting percentage of the season against the Mountaineers, 31.0%, before coming out in the second half and posting its best second half shooting percentage of the year at 63.0%.
The Catamounts nailed four of their five 3-point attempts in the second half.
The Western Carolina men's basketball team shot over 60 percent from 3-point range against Alabama A&M at the Barclays Center Classic in Niagara, N.Y.
The Catamounts nailed 14 3-pointers in the contest with six different Catamounts getting in on the action.
Junior Marc Gosselin led the way as he knocked down all three of his 3-point attempts.
Sophomore Onno Steger came off the bench to knock down both of his 3-point attempts while freshman Matt Halvorsen finished 3-of-4 from long range.
Senior Devin Peteson was 2-of-3 while freshman Desmond Johnson knocked down one of his two attempts.
The final deep threat was senior Deriece Parks who hit three of his eight attempts from 3-point range in the contest.