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Western Carolina254166
Elon343064
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64


Western Carolina (17-14) vs. Elon (18-13)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 8, 2:30 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: U.S. Cellular Center (7,654) -- Asheville, North Carolina. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: WCU 11-2, Elon 11-4. Away Record: WCU 5-11, Elon 7-6. Neutral Record: WCU 1-1, Elon 0-3. Conference Record: WCU 10-6, Elon 11-5. Series Record: Elon leads, 55-40.

GAME NOTES: The fourth-seeded Elon Phoenix and the fifth-seeded Western Carolina Catamounts square off in the second round of the 2014 Southern Conference Tournament at U.S. Cellular Center on Saturday afternoon.

Western Carolina doesn't bring a ton of momentum into the postseason, with losses in its final two games of the regular season. The Catamounts still finished with solid marks both overall (17-14) and in league play (10-6), but they were just 6-12 away from home.

Elon is also riding a two-game slide into the tourney, having suffered recent setbacks to third-seeded Wofford and No. 1 seed Davidson. The Phoenix have a game up on the Catamounts both overall (18-13) and in conference action (11-5), but also have a losing record in games decided away from home (7-9).

Although these teams split the season series, neither contest was particularly competitive. Western Carolina collected a 74-62 win at home on Jan. 4 and Elon returned the favor with a 74-60 home victory on Jan. 30. The Phoenix has claimed victory in three of the last four meetings overall, and leads the all- time series by a 55-40 margin.

The winner of this matchup will take on either Samford or Davidson in the semifinals.

Trey Sumler scored 27 points to lead five players in double figures, but Western Carolina still fell in a 93-86 shootout to Samford in the last game of the regular season. The Catamounts allowed their hosts to sink 59.6 percent from the floor in that contest.

For the year, WCU is averaging 74.4 ppg on 42.5 percent shooting. The Catamounts are fourth in the league in scoring despite shooting the second- worst percentage from the field among all SoCon teams. Sumler (17.9 ppg, 4.4 apg) is in the driver's seat for the offense, leading the way in both scoring and assists. In fact, Sumler is at the top of the conference in assists and fifth in points per game. Lending support are Brandon Boggs (11.9 ppg) and James Sinclair (11.4 ppg). Boggs netted 11 points in the season finale, but Sinclair had only eight points on 1-of-7 shooting.

Elon also suffered from a failure at the defensive end in falling to Davidson to close out the regular season. The Phoenix allowed a 62 percent shooting effort from the Wildcats, while also suffering deficits in rebounds (31-21) and points in the paint (34-24).

The Phoenix were a bit off of their normal offensive pace against Davidson, sinking 45.1 percent from the field. On the year, they shoot at a 46.9 percent rate, yielding 75.1 ppg. Both of those marks rank the team third in the SoCon. Elon's biggest strength comes in sharing the ball, as it is at the top of the conference in assists (75.1 apg). Lucas Troutman (16.1 ppg, 6.3 rpg) leads the way in terms of scoring and rebounding, while Sebastian Koch (11.8 ppg) and Ryley Beaumont (10.2 ppg) also do their part. Beaumont was the leading scorer against Davidson, tallying 19 points.

Prior to its two-game skid to end the regular season, Elon had rolled to eight straight victories. Expect the Phoenix to recapture the success they had during that run en route to a berth in the semifinals.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Elon 75, Western Carolina 70

03/08 11:18:55 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 3
DUR 5
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR
 
Final
WAS 3
PHI 5
Final
TOR 6
ATL 5
Final
DET 3
CWS 12
Final
MIN 2
CLE 4
Final
STL 5
CIN 2
Final
CHC 7
SDP 6
Final
BOS 1
BAL 4
Final
PIT 6
MIL 2
Final
HOU 4
ANA 0
Final
NYM 5
MIA 4
Final
TAM 0
NYY 9
Final
KAN 0
OAK 5
Final
SFG 4
ARI 1
Final
LOS 6
COL 3
Final
SEA 3
TEX 1
1:07pm Today
TOR
ATL
 
1:08pm Today
DET
CWS
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
MIA
 
1:10pm Today
TAM
NYY
 
1:35pm Today
BOS
BAL
 
1:35pm Today
PIT
MIL
 
1:35pm Today
WAS
PHI
 
2:10pm Today
MIN
CLE
 
2:10pm Today
HOU
ANA
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
OAK
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
SDP
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
LOS
COL
 
4:10pm Today
SEA
TEX
 
8:05pm Tonight
STL
CIN
 
Final
TOR 86
WAS 93
Final
GSW 106
NOP 99
Final
CHI 103
MIL 91
Final
HOU 118
DAL 108
3:00pm Today
CLE
BOS
 
5:30pm Tonight
ATL
BRK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
POR
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
SAN
 
Final
TAM 5
DET 1
Final
STL 4
MIN 1
Final
NYR 3
PIT 4
Final
ANA 2
WIN 1
12:00pm Today
NYI
WAS
 
3:00pm Today
CHI
NAS
 
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
MON
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
VAN
 
Final
NOR 3
DUR 5
 
1:05pm Today
NOR
DUR