Western Carolina Athletics
GREENVILLE, S.C. – For the third-straight game, the Western Carolina men’s basketball team was in a tight battle that went down to the final seconds. The Catamounts trailed by two with 11.5 seconds left in the game at Furman and a Mike Brown drive to the basket saw several Paladins converge on the ball and cause the layup to miss its mark as Furman hung on for a 62-60 victory inside Timmons Arena.
The woes at the free throw line continued for WCU as the Catamounts connected on just 10 of 23 attempts from the charity stripe. The Paladins on the other hand nailed 22 of their 31 shots at the free throw line which proved to be the difference.
The Catamounts trailed by as much as 11 points in the second half and used a 16-2 run midway through the period to take their first lead of the game at 44-39. Following a 7-0 run by the Paladins, the rest of the game would be back-and-forth with the Catamounts unable to retake the lead eventually falling 62-60.
Brown was WCU’s go-to player all game as he finished two points shy of his career-high with 27 points. He also chipped in seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Senior Justin Browning played a strong game as he finished with 11 points, a team-high eight rebounds and a game-high five steals.
Senior Torrion Brummitt finished with eight points and six rebounds while Rhett Harrelson added nine points and a rebound.
Furman jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the opening minutes of the game but WCU battled back to cut the lead to two with 16:41 left in the first. The lead would remain in the two to four range most of the period until a 7-0 run by the Paladins closed out the half for Furman giving FU a 33-22 lead at the break.
WCU was just 1-7 at the charity stripe in the opening half and shot 33.3 percent from the field. The Paladins on the other hand were 10-13 at the free throw line and connected on 45.5 percent of its shots from the field.
Furman was paced by Geoff Beans who scored 16 points including three 3-pointers and two 3-pointers in which he was fouled and hit all three free throws.
The Catamounts will next be in action this Saturday as they travel to perennial SoCon power Wofford. The game is set for a 7 pm tip in Spartanburg.