UNC Greensboro (3-10) at Western Carolina (6-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 12, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ramsey Center (7,826) -- Cullowhee, North Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: UNCG 3-4, WCU 3-1. Away Record: UNCG 0-6, WCU 2-7. Neutral Record: UNCG 0-0, WCU 1-1. Conference Record: UNCG 1-1, WCU 3-0. Series Record: Western Carolina leads, 24-16.
GAME NOTES: Trying for a third consecutive win, the Western Carolina Catamounts continue Southern Conference play with a matchup against struggling UNC Greensboro.
The Catamounts posted two victories in a three-day span, most recently topping Warren Wilson, 78-53, on Monday. Trey Sumler led the way with 18 points for Western Carolina, which has three players averaging double figures in scoring, led by the SoCon's leading scorer in Trevis Simpson at 18.0 ppg. Derrell Armstrong is netting 15.9 ppg and Kayel Locke checks in at 11.5 ppg for a team that averages over 70 ppg.
Western Carolina has won 49 of its last 59 home games, and over the past three seasons is 47-10 at home during Larry Hunter's tenure. Today, the Catamounts aim for a 4-0 start in SoCon play for just the second time in team history and the first since 1994-95.
Western Carolina has dominated this series recently, having won nine of the last 10 meetings. WCU leads the all-time series in Cullowhee, 15-4, which includes winning four straight home games over UNCG. Interestingly though, the last three matchups have been decided by a combined 12 points.
UNC Greensboro ended a five-game slide on Wednesday with an 86-47 victory over Lees-McRae. Nicholas Paulos led the Spartans by scoring a career-high 26 points off the bench. Paulos hit a career-high 8-of-12 from 3-point land, falling just one 3-pointer shy of the UNCG single-game record for 3-pointers made. Senior guard Derrell Armstrong scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Armstrong is second on the team at 15.9 ppg, while Simpson paces the squad with 18 ppg. Freshman forward Kayel Locke enters the game as the third-leading scorer, averaging 11.5 points per game off the bench. UNCG enters the day as the top scoring team in the Southern Conference at 75.5 ppg, which is close to the single-season record (76.3 ppg) set during the 1988-89 season. The Spartans are also second in the conference in 3-point shooting, averaging 7.8 treys per game. Forward Kelvin McNeil leads the team in rebounding at 7.1 per game.
The Catamounts are just too tough at home. Also factor in the big historical advantage and it adds up to a WCU win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Western Carolina 82, UNC Greensboro 73
01/12 10:40:05 ET