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Furman (7-16) at Western Carolina (13-11)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Monday, February 10, 7 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Ramsey Center (7,826) -- Cullowhee, North Carolina. Television: CSS, ESPN3.com. Home Record: Furman 4-6, WCU 9-1. Away Record: Furman 3-10, WCU 3-9. Neutral Record: Furman 0-0, WCU 1-1. Conference Record: Furman 1-9, WCU 6-3. Series Record: Furman leads, 37-26.

GAME NOTES: The Western Carolina Catamounts will attempt to continue their excellence at the Ramsey Center this season when they play host to the Furman Paladins in Southern Conference action on Monday night.

Furman has been stuck in a tailspin of late, as it has gone just 1-9 since the start of SoCon play, which places only better than The Citadel (0-11) in the conference standings. The Paladins have lost four straight, including a 65-50 setback at Davidson on Saturday to dip to 7-16 overall.

WCU has had a modest season overall, going 13-11, but the majority of its success has come on its home floor, where it has won nine of 10. The Catamounts dismissed Appalachian State in overtime on Saturday afternoon at home, 84-75, as they improved to 6-3 in the SoCon.

In regards to the all-time series, Furman has a 37-26 advantage, although WCU has claimed six of the past eight matchups.

The Paladins fell flat in their contest over the weekend, as they got behind Davidson by nine points at the half and never got close in the second stanza en route to the 15-point loss. The teams shot nearly an identical percentage from the field, with the Paladins shooting 43.6 percent to Davidson's 43.8 percent, but Furman was plagued by a game-high 19 turnovers and were outscored from 3-point range, 33-12. Pacing the losing effort with 17 points was Stephen Croone, while Adonis Rwabigwi added 10 points.

On the season, Furman has failed to impress on either end of the floor, as it shoots 44.6 percent from the field for just 65.8 ppg while allowing 73.8 ppg on greater than 46 percent shooting. It also lives in the red in terms of its turnover (-2.6) and rebounding (-2.7) margins. Despite the struggles of most of his teammates, Croone has been outstanding this season with 19.3 ppg on 47.3 percent from the field to go with 3.5 apg. Kendrac Ferrara tallied 10.4 ppg and 5.2 rpg, and Larry Wideman nets 10.1 ppg but does so on just 37.2 percent field goal shooting.

Leading by two late in regulation, the Catamounts sent ASU to the foul line with only one second remaining, and Tab Hamilton sank both free throws to send the game to overtime, but they closed out the extra session on a furious 14-1 run to capture the nine-point victory. In a game that consisted of 17 ties and 14 lead changes, WCU shot 44.4 percent from the field a 31-of-42 at the foul line, and the squad was led by a 25-point effort from Trey Sumler. Brandon Boggs came off the bench to pour in 15 points, James Sinclair netted 11 points, while Tawaski King and Tom Tankelewicz rounded out the balanced effort with 10 points apiece.

WCU is actually outshot by its opponents this season, 44.7 percent to 41.9 percent, but it is still able to score more points (73.2 ppg) than it allows (72.0 ppg) by draining 7.9 3-pointers per game at a 37 percent clip and by owning positive margins in both the rebounding (+1.3) and turnover (+1.7) battles. Sumler has been boasting big point totals all season with a team-best 18.0 ppg to go with 4.4 apg. Sinclair contributes 10.6 ppg and nearly two steals per contest, while Brandon Boggs (10.6 ppg) and Tankelewicz (9.7 ppg) have also been stellar.

WCU has been cruising on its home floor this season, and that combined with Furman's struggles should equal positive results for the Catamounts in this one.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Western Carolina 77, Furman 68

02/10 10:34:06 ET

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