Western Carolina (4-3) vs. USC Upstate (2-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 23, 5 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: M.A.C. Center (6,327) -- Kent, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: WCU 2-0, USC Upstate 0-0. Away Record: WCU 1-3, USC Upstate 1-3. Neutral Record: WCU 1-0, USC Upstate 1-0. Conference Record: WCU 0-0, USC Upstate 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: Despite being located slightly more than 100 miles away from each other, today marks the first-ever meeting between the Western Carolina Catamounts and the USC Upstate Spartans as they clash at the M.A.C. Center in Kent, Ohio as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
The Catamounts have been busy during the first two weeks of the 2013-14 campaign, playing a total of seven games, winning four. On Friday, the squad captured a 98-90 victory versus Niagara, the group's second win in the last three outings.
As for the Spartans, they too were on the hardwood Friday but were not so lucky as they suffered a 79-78 setback to tournament host Kent State. The defeat was the third in the last four games for the program.
The Spartans had their hands full trying to slow down Kent State on Friday, especially on the outside where the Golden Flashes set a new single-game record with a staggering 18 3-point baskets on 34 attempts. Any other time with USC Upstate shooting 54.4 percent from the floor and 11-of-20 out on the perimeter the team would end up in the win column, but it simply wasn't meant to be.
Torrey Craig scored a team-best 21 points, Ty Greene chipped in 20 points and handed out six assists as he shot 6-of-9 beyond the arc. Ricardo Glenn registered a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards, followed by Jodd Maxey with 12 points in a game that featured four ties and six lead changes.
Craig has been the leading scorer for the Spartans in each of the last four games, which is why he currently paces the squad with 22.0 ppg, based on his 46.4 percent accuracy behind the 3-point line. Greene accounts for 17.8 ppg as he too shoots the ball well from the outside (.485), but beyond those two the Spartans have knocked down just seven more triples.
Connecting on half of his 20 field goal attempts and 14-of-16 at the free- throw line, Trey Sumler produced 35 points in the victory over Niagara yesterday. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that he dished out 10 assists and cleared seven rebounds for the Catamounts. Also pitching in with double-digit scoring efforts were Mike Brown and Brandon Boggs with 17 points apiece, followed by Rhett Harrelson with 12 points in 18 minutes off the bench. The team shot an impressive 58.9 percent from the field and 10-of-16 beyond the arc in order to overcome 20 turnovers.
Prior to Friday's bout, Sumler was leading the WCU scoring attack with a mere 13.0 ppg, shooting only 36.7 percent from the floor. The team as a whole was responsible for 70.3 ppg over the first six games, shooting only 65.8 percent at the free-throw line.
Assuming the Catamounts can find the inspiration and the energy to put together an effort similar to the one they produced on Friday, expect to see WCU in the win column yet again.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Western Carolina 84, USC Upstate 75
11/23 10:33:13 ET