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Catamounts Fall at League-Leading Samford, 88-62




Birmingham, Ala. – Vonterius Woolbright led three Catamounts in double figures with his NCAA-leading 22nd double-double of the season, but Western Carolina could not overcome a season-high 16 turnovers and four Bulldogs with double-digit scoring in falling 88-62 in Southern Conference men’s basketball action on Wednesday night at the Pete Hanna Center.

 

Woolbright scored 21 points – his 17th 20-point performance of the year – and added 13 rebounds to pace the Catamounts, connecting on eight made field goals. DJ Campbell returned to double figures with 13 points including nine in the second half, while Tre Jackson connected on two of WCU’s four 3-pointers in posting 10 points. Bernard Pelote just missed double figures chipping in nine points with Charles Lampten adding seven boards and a couple of blocked shots.

 

Achor Achor led four Bulldogs in double figures with 18 points including eight made free throws with Jermaine Marshall and Jaden Campbell both chipping in 16 points. AJ Staton-McCray scored a dozen as 10 of the 13 Bulldogs that played recorded points. Samford earned win No. 23 on the season and stayed perfect at home, 15-0, with their sixth-straight seasonal win.

 

Western Carolina twice pulled out to four-point leads in the opening five minutes as neither team managed more than a two-possession lead much of the first half. Samford used a 13-to-2 run over a four-minute span to gain separation, taking a half-high, 10-point lead at 35-25 with four minutes remaining before the break. The Bulldogs carried a nine-point, 38-29, advantage into halftime.

 

An early 3-pointer by Russell Jones Jr. clawed the Catamounts back to within six, 38-32. But, it would prove to be as close as WCU would get the remainder of the game. Samford scored the next nine points as part of a decisive 20-to-6 run to grab a 20-point lead, 58-38, with 14:22 to play.

 

The Bulldog advantage ballooned to a game-high 24 points at the midpoint of the half. And though WCU was able to thrice cut the deficit down to 17 points, Samford provided the final tally by scoring the game’s final nine points while holding the Catamounts scoreless over the last three minutes.

 

Spurred by Marshall’s 16 points that included four made 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes, Samford’s bench outscored WCU 30-to-13. Rebounds were even at 34 apiece with WCU corralling 13 on the offensive glass. The Bulldogs managed 50 percent shooting from the floor with nine made 3-pointers.

 

Western Carolina (18-8, 7-6 SoCon) returns to action this Saturday, Feb. 17, in the front end of a Catamount hoops doubleheader on Ingles Court at the Ramsey Center. The men host mountain-rival ETSU (13-12, 5-7 SoCon) at 4 p.m. with a “Beat the Bucs – Black Out Ramsey” promotion with all fans encouraged to wear their black WCU gear to the game as the squad wears its black Nike uniforms. The Catamount women host Samford at 7 p.m. in their annual “Shoot for the Cure” Wear Pink game.

 

Both games will be broadcast on ESPN+ (paid subscription required) with live streaming audio from the Catamount Sports Network and live stats available online at CatamountSports.com. For tickets, visit CatamountSports.com/BuyTickets.

 

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