Western Carolina (4-9) at The Citadel (3-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 5, 7:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McAlister Field House (6,000) -- Charleston, South Carolina. Television: none. Home Record: Western Carolina 2-1, The Citadel 3-2 Away Record: Western Carolina 1-7, The Citadel 0-6. Neutral Record: Western Carolina 1-1, The Citadel 0-0. Conference Record: Western Carolina 2-0, The Citadel 0-1. Series Record: The Citadel leads, 34-28.
GAME NOTES: A pair of Southern Conference teams hoping to stop losing streaks meet on Saturday night, as the Western Carolina Catamounts come calling on The Citadel Bulldogs.
Western Carolina enters on a three-game skid. Most recently, the Catamounts lost to Liberty, 63-62, on Monday in a non-conference affair. Trey Sumler led the way for WCU with 23 points. Tawaski King scored 12 and James Sinclair had 11 for the Catamounts, who struggled by shooting just 37.1 percent from the floor in the home defeat.
On the positive side, WCU is 2-0 in conference play. The Catamounts can start 3-0 in SoCon play for just the fourth time in program history. Their best start was 4-0 in 1994-95. Sumler (16.8 ppg), King (12.0) and Tom Tankelewicz (10.2) all average double figures in points. The Catamounts are holding opponents to just 29.4 percent shooting from beyond the 3-point line this season, which is second-best in the Southern Conference. On the negative side, the Catamounts have been whistled for 61 more fouls than their opponents, which is an average of 20.5 fouls per game on WCU. They've been outscored 254-158 at the charity stripe, which has surely contributed to their downfall.
The Citadel has lost seven in a row, and begins a four-game homestand in this one. On New Year's Day, the Bulldogs dropped a 92-51 decision at Clemson. Mike Groselle scored a team-high 13 points and Dylen Setzekorn finished with 11. The Citadel shot an efficient 50 percent from the floor, but turned the ball over 25 times in the setback. Groselle leads the team with 15 ppg and he is the only player on the team averaging double figures, although Matt Van Scyoc (9.9 ppg) is close to joining the ranks.
The Bulldogs lead the all-time series, 34-28, and the Catamounts have only won eight of the 29 all-time meetings in Charleston. WCU has dropped the last four games at McAlister Field House.
A win by the Bulldogs would mark the longest winning streak in league home openers by The Citadel since 1993 when they had five consecutive wins. They've won their league home opener two years in a row now, and should stretch that to three after tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: The Citadel 72, Western Carolina 68
01/05 10:37:45 ET