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  • Daniel Hooker

Woolbright Collects Triple-Double in Win over ETSU



Vonterius Woolbright tallied his second career triple-double as both he and Tre Jackson scored 20 points to lead four Catamounts in double figures as Western Carolina won its eighth straight game, leading all 40 minutes to sink mountain-rival East Tennessee State 80-66 in Southern Conference action Wednesday night at Freedom Hall.

 

Woolbright pulled down 13 rebounds including nine on the defensive glass and was credited with 10 assists to accompany his tenth 20-point performance this year for the triple-dip. The Albany, Ga., product collected the fifth triple-double in WCU’s NCAA Division I era. He also became the second Catamount to accomplish the feat twice, joining Mason Faulkner (Nov. 12, 2019, vs. NC A&T and Feb. 26, 2020, vs. Samford).

 

Jackson hit 4-of-9 from beyond the arc to reach the 20-point plateau for the third time this season, each coming over his last four games. Russell Jones Jr. finished with 17 points and a career-best eight rebounds while Bernard Pelote scored 12 off the bench and matched Jones Jr. with eight boards to round out WCU’s double-digit scorers. DJ Campbell just missed double figures with nine as WCU’s 80 points came from just six scorers in the road victory, the fourth-straight away from home for the Catamounts. Charles Lampten added a pair of blocked shots defensively.

 

ETSU (9-7, 1-2 SoCon) put three in double figures as Jaden Seymour scored a game-high 24 points with seven rebounds, while Ebby Asamoah finished with 15 including three 3-pointers, and Quima Peterson finished with 11 points.

 

Jackson drained his first two three-point shots to open the first half as the Catamounts (14-2, 3-0 SoCon) raced out to a double-digit lead at 15-4 just five minutes into Wednesday’s league game. WCU’s advantage grew to 12 at 22-10 midway through the opening period before consecutive buckets by the Bucs pulled the home squad back to within eight at the 9:41 mark. It would prove to be as close as ETSU would get for the remainder of the game.

 

Jones Jr. buried a triple to start a run where he scored eight straight points to push the lead back into double digits and ultimately a half-high 16-point lead, 30-14. The Catamounts carried a 13-point advantage into the halftime locker room, 44-31.

 

WCU maintained its double-digit lead over the final 20 minutes to hold the Bucs at bay. Pelote scored two of his dozen points on a lay-up at the 8:12 mark to give the Catamounts a game-high 18-point advantage. ETSU managed to close to within 11 points twice but could get no closer as the Catamounts were able to pick up the road victory.

 

For the game, the Catamounts shot 50.8% (31-of-61) with nine made 3-pointers and scored 30 of their points in the paint. Western Carolina commanded the boards on Wednesday, outrebounding ETSU 45-to-30 and limiting the league’s top offensive rebounding squad to just nine with only 10 second-chance points.

 

The Catamount road swing continues with a trip to Macon, Ga., to face Mercer (8-8, 1-2 SoCon) on Saturday (Jan. 13), with a 2 p.m. start on ESPN+ (paid subscription required). Fans can also follow the game with live streaming audio from the Catamount Sports Network and live stats available online at CatamountSports.com. The Bears suffered a one-point, 74-73, road loss at Wofford on Wednesday.

 

WCU's next home game is a nationally-televised match-up against current league co-leader Samford on Tuesday, Jan. 16, with a special 6 p.m. start on the CBS Sports Network (check local listings; DIRECTV Ch. 221; Dish Ch. 158). WCU will celebrate former Catamount Ronnie Carr who made the first 3-pointer in college basketball history back in November 1980.

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