Davidson (11-7) at Western Carolina (8-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 24, 7 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ramsey Center (7,826) -- Cullowhee, North Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: Davidson 6-1, WCU 4-2. Away Record: Davidson 3-4, WCU 3-8. Neutral Record: Davidson 2-2, WCU 1-1. Conference Record: Davidson 6-1, WCU 5-2. Series Record: Davidson leads, 36-20.
GAME NOTES: The Davidson Wildcats will try to pad their lead in the Southern Conference South Division when they take on the Western Carolina Catamounts at the Ramsey Center.
Davidson entered the week with a two-game lead over College of Charleston in the South, while the rest of the teams in the division are below .500. The Wildcats have won four of their last five games overall, including Saturday's 77-68 triumph over Charleston.
Western Carolina rebounded from a two-game slide by notching a 90-81 road win over Chattanooga this past Saturday. WCU entered the week trailing SoCon North Division leader Samford by a half-game.
Davidson leads the head-to-head series, 36-20. These teams will meet up again two weeks from now at Davidson.
The Wildcats attacked the boards in their recent showdown with Charleston, claiming a 37-28 rebounding advantage for the game. Davidson also turned to its bread and butter -- ultra-efficient foul shooting -- to grind out the win as they sank 21-of-24 free throws (.875). Davidson leads the nation in team free-throw shooting percentage (.799), and that has been a key factor behind the team's success in the early portion of its SoCon schedule. D'Mon Brooks had a team-high 17 points in Saturday's win, while J.P. Kuhlman and Nik Cochran scored 15 apiece, and Tom Droney tallied 12 points and six boards off the bench. On the season, Brooks paces the squad with 13.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, followed by Jake Cohen with 13.1 ppg and 5.3 rpg.
Western Carolina is led by Trey Sumler, a 40-percent shooter from beyond the arc who averages 17.9 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Tom Tankelewicz (10.3 ppg) is also dangerous from the perimeter, where he has knocked down a team- high 52 threes (.397). Down low, Tawaski King is shooting 55 percent from the floor while posting 11.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per tilt. Against Chattanooga this past Saturday, the Catamounts shot a healthy 53.4 percent from the floor and buried 12-of-22 treys. They put together a 14-4 run early in the second half to go up by 16, and they staved off several runs by the Mocs down the stretch. Four players finished in double figures for WCU, led by Sumler with 25 points and 12 assists. Tankelewicz was next in line with 21 points, followed by Brandon Boggs with 19, and King with 18.
Everything seemed to come together on the offensive end of the floor for the Catamounts their last time out. Another 90-point performance may be tough to replicate, but they are certainly capable of standing toe to toe with the Wildcats, particularly at home.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Western Carolina 81, Davidson 77
01/24 10:33:29 ET