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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alumni Gym (1,607) -- Elon, North Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: WCU 5-4, Elon 10-2. Away Record: WCU 5-10, Elon 7-6. Neutral Record: WCU 1-1, Elon 0-0. Conference Record: WCU 8-6, Elon 10-3. Series Record: Elon leads, 53-39.
GAME NOTES: The top two teams in the Southern Conference's North Division collide on Saturday night as the Elon Phoenix play host to the Western Carolina Catamounts at Alumni Gym.
The Phoenix have really had a strong season in 2012-13, coming in with a 17-8 overall record. The ledger includes a 10-3 mark in conference play, good for first place in the North Division. Elon has won two straight games and nine of its last 10 overall, including a narrow 61-58 decision against Appalachian State on Thursday.
Western Carolina is in second place in the division and has also played well of late, coming into this contest with a three-game win streak in tow. The Catamounts moved to 8-6 in SoCon action with Thursday's 70-68 road win at UNC Greensboro.
This is the 93rd all-time meeting between these two teams. Elon holds a 53-39 advantage all-time and is seeking the regular-season sweep after recording an 80-67 win at Western Carolina on Jan. 14.
Western Carolina shot just .373 from the floor overall, but held a 41-30 advantage in rebounding and outscored UNCG 19-5 in second-chance points to earn a two-point win. Trey Sumler led the way offensively for WCU, posting a game-high 21 points. Tawaski King and Brandon Boggs added 13 and 11 points, respectively, for the Catamounts.
The Catamounts are putting up modest offensive numbers this season, averaging 69.1 ppg on .436 shooting. However, there has been nothing modest about Sumler's production, ranking second in the conference in scoring at 18.1 ppg. The 6-foot-2 junior is also the team's top distributor (3.6 apg). King (11.4 ppg) and Boggs (10.1 ppg) are also in double digits, while Tom Tankelewicz is just under the mark at 9.7 ppg.
The Phoenix were without leading scorer Lucas Troutman, but the team got a huge outing from Ryley Beaumont, who was 9-of-16 from the floor, finishing with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Jack Isenbarger poured in 16 points, while Sebastian Koch added 11 in the three-point win.
Troutman is averaging 15.1 ppg on the year, but is listed as doubtful for this game with an ankle injury. It will be up to Isenbarger (14.2 ppg) and Beaumont (11.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg) to lead the way again.
The Catamounts are playing well right now, but winning at Elon won't come easy. Even without Troutman in the lineup, the Phoenix should be able to defend their home floor and continue to move towards a division crown.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Elon 64, Western Carolina 61
02/16 10:46:24 ET
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