Georgia Southern (8-12) at Western Carolina (8-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 26, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ramsey Center (7,826) -- Cullowhee, North Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: GSU 5-3, WCU 4-3. Away Record: GSU 2-8, WCU 3-8. Neutral Record: GSU 1-1, WCU 1-1. Conference Record: GSU 2-5, WCU 2-5. Series Record: Georgia Southern leads, 19-13.
GAME NOTES: Offensively challenged much of this season, Georgia Southern aims to snap a two-game skid on Saturday afternoon when the Eagles take on the Western Carolina Catamounts in Southern Conference play at the Ramsey Center.
The Eagles have dropped five of their last seven games with three of the losses coming in conference play. They rank near the bottom in scoring offense, averaging only 60 points per game. That ranks 11th in the SoCon. During conference games, the Eagles are averaging just 55.6 points.
On Thursday, the Eagles lost at Appalachian State in overtime, 64-62. C.J. Reed had 16 points, nine rebounds and five assists, while Eric Ferguson and Cleon Roberts had 10 points apiece. Georgia Southern went a dismal 3-of-18 beyond the arc. Ferguson leads the team with 14.0 points and 7.6 rebounds per outing. Senior point guard C.J. Reed is second at 12.0 points, while junior guard Tre Bussey ranks third in scoring with 10.4 points per game. Georgia Southern has the third-best defense in the SoCon, as the Eagles are giving up only 63.5 points a game. They are also allowing teams to shoot 42.6 percent from the field, again ranking third-best in the conference.
The Catamounts dropped a 79-74 decision at home to Davidson on Thursday. Brandon Boggs and Trey Sumler each scored 22 points to lead the Catamounts, while Tawaski King finished with 12 points. Western Carolina has four players averaging double figures in scoring, led by Sumler at 18.2 ppg. King (11.5 ppg), Boggs (10.2 ppg) and Tom Tankelewicz (10.1 ppg) are also part of the balanced offensive attack. WCU averages eight steals a game, which leads the conference.
Western Carolina, which has dropped its last two games inside the Ramsey Center, has won 50 of its last 62 home games. The Catamounts have already lost three times at home this year, one off the mark (4-4) from last season.
Today's contest features two 1,000-point scorers in Sumler, who ranks third among the SoCon's active scorers at 1,214 career points, and Georgia Southern's Ferguson who ranks sixth among the conference's career leaders at 1,114 career points. Sumler leads the SoCon with eight 20-point games including four in conference.
This should be a tight contest, but give the edge to the Catamounts as Boggs and Sumler should be able to offset a team that has struggled all season at the offensive end. A victory today would be the third for the Catamounts in the last four tries against Georgia Southern.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Western Carolina 68, Georgia Southern 63
01/26 10:41:31 ET