Samford (11-19) at Western Carolina (12-18)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 2, 4:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ramsey Center (7,826) -- Cullowhee, North Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: Samford 7-6, WCU 6-6. Away Record: Samford 4-11, WCU 5-11. Neutral Record: Samford 0-2, WCU 1-1. Conference Record: Samford 9-8, WCU 8-9. Series Record: Western Carolina leads, 8-3
GAME NOTES: Samford aims for its first-ever win at Western Carolina on Saturday, as the Southern Conference rivals battle in the regular season finale at the Ramsey Center.
Samford is 0-5 all-time at the Ramsey Center, but the Bulldogs have plenty of positive thoughts going into this game. They can still get a No. 4 seed and a first-round bye in the postseason conference tournament with a win combined with a Chattanooga victory at Appalachian State. Also, the Bulldogs have already won on the road this season for the first time in program history at the College of Charleston, The Citadel and Furman.
The Bulldogs are coming off a 70-67 loss in double-overtime against Appalachian State on Thursday. Tyler Hood led all scorers with 22 points, while Tim Williams finished with 12 points, and Connor Miller chipped in with 11.
Raijon Kelly (14.5 ppg), Williams (14.2 ppg) and Clide Geffrard Jr. (11.3 ppg) are all averaging in double figures for the season. Hood (8.8 ppg), Geffrard and Miller, along with Kelly are threats from 3-point range. As a team, the Bulldogs lead the SoCon by making 37.3 percent of their shots from beyond the arc, but they're among the worst at the charity stripe. Samford is making 66.5 percent of its foul shots, which is next-to-last in the league. They're averaging just 61.7 ppg.
Western Carolina can finish anywhere from fifth to eighth in the final SoCon standings depending upon the final day of the regular season.
The Catamounts have lost three of their last four games, including an 81-72 setback at home against Chattanooga on Thursday. Brandon Boggs paced Western Carolina with 21 points off the bench. Tawaski King registered a double-double with 12 points and 12 boards, and Trey Sumler had 10 points. Sumler leads the team in scoring (17.9 ppg) and King (11.2 ppg) is the leading rebounder (6.3 rpg). Boggs (10.8 ppg) and Tom Tankelewicz (10.0) are also double-digit scorers.
The margin of victory in the last three matchups between these two is just 3.3 points, and this figures to be another tight finish. The first encounter was won by Samford, 64-60, on Jan. 17. The Bulldogs can sweep Western Carolina for the first time ever with a win today.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Western Carolina 69, Samford 67
03/02 10:55:08 ET
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