Western Carolina (1-1) at Wichita State (2-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 15, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Charles Koch Arena (10,506) -- Wichita, Kansas.
Television: None. Home Record: Western Carolina 1-0, Wichita State 1-0. Away
Record: Western Carolina 0-1, Wichita State 1-0. Neutral Record: Western
Carolina 0-0, Wichita State 0-0. Conference Record: Western Carolina 0-0,
Wichita State 0-0. Series Record: Wichita State leads, 1-0.
GAMES NOTES: As part of the 2012 Cancun Challenge the Western Carolina
Catamounts will travel to Charles Koch Arena to do battle with the Wichita
State Shockers on Thursday night.
Through two games, Western Carolina is 1-1 this season. The Catamounts began
the year on the road against UNC Asheville and came away with a 71-61 defeat.
After that loss the Catamounts returned home and beat up on Mars Hill (95-68)
of the South Atlantic Conference. Western Carolina was just 4-12 on the road
last season but a competitive 9-8 in non-conference games. Next up for the
Catamounts is a matchup with Western Kentucky before heading to Cancun, Mexico
for the remainder of this event.
Wichita State is coming off an impressive, albeit difficult victory against
VCU on Tuesday night. With Malcolm Armstead's jumper with four seconds left in
regulation, the Shockers were able to steal a 53-51 win over the Rams. With
the triumph Wichita State is 2-0 on the early season and set to face Howard
this weekend before traveling to Cancun.
It has been more than 10 years since the first and only matchup between these
squads. In that 2001 meeting, Wichita State rolled to a 102-73 victory, also
at Charles Koch Arena.
Despite turning the ball over 23 times against Mars Hill, Western Carolina was
able to coast to a victory due to its efficient scoring. The Catamounts shot a
sizzling 60.7 percent from the floor in the game.
Lead returning scorer Trey Sumler has picked up right where he left off a
season ago. Through two games Sumler is scoring at a team-leading 16.0 point-
per-game clip, while also dishing out 5.5 assists per contest. Sumler is also
creating chaos on the defensive end by getting into passing lanes, with 2.5
steals per contest. The double-figure scoring has not been limited to Sumler.
Tawaski King (13.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg) has anchored the team on the inside, while
Tom Tankelewicz (13.0 ppg) and Brandon Boggs (11.0 ppg) have each been welcome
and productive contributors early on.
It was a nip and tuck affair between Wichita State and VCU on Tuesday night.
Neither team led by more than five points in a game that featured nine ties
and 10 lead changes. Neither team was very effective offensively with Wichita
State shooting 35.1 percent from the floor to 34.7 percent for VCU.
Armstead's game-winning jump shot capped off a stellar game across the board
for the senior guard. Armstead finished with 11 points, six assists, five
rebounds and four steals. The strong play in distribution was expected from
Armstead, but the 11 points was the first double-figure effort from the senior
since a 14-point outburst in 2011, while he was still playing for Oregon.
Armstead sat out last season per transfer rules. Carl Hall has been an
tremendous force in the paint for the Shockers so far and should continue to
be going forward. He has posted a double-double in each game this season
including his 12-point, 11-rebound effort against VCU. Ron Baker (13.5 ppg) is
another starter in double figures, while Clanton Early (11.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg) has
added offense and rebounding off the bench.
Wichita State will have the edge in this matchup. The Shockers were almost
impossible to beat at home last season (14-1) and have a roster that is filled
with solid contributors.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wichita State 75, Western Carolina 59
11/15 10:36:07 ET
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