GAME NOTES: The UNC Greensboro Spartans welcome the Western Carolina Catamounts to Greensboro Coliseum for a Southern Conference matchup on Thursday.
Western Carolina has rebounded from a season-long, four-game skid by winning two straight. After notching a 71-62 road win over Georgia Southern over the weekend, the Catamounts followed it up with a dramatic, 57-56 win over Wofford on Monday. Trey Sumler came up big down the stretch of Monday's victory, and he buried the game-winning jumper with 2.3 seconds remaining.
UNCG has dropped three of its last four to fall to the bottom of the SoCon North Division standings. The Spartans wrapped up a three-game road swing on Saturday with a 59-50 setback at Wofford. Now they'll take the floor at Greensboro Coliseum for the first time in the month of February. Six of the team's seven wins this season have come at home.
WCU claimed a 62-59 home win over UNCG back on Jan. 12. The Catamounts have won 10 of the last 11 meetings and they lead the all-time series, 25-16.
Sumler effectively put the Catamounts on his back during the stretch run of Monday's victory, as he scored 14 of the team's final 16 points and each of the last seven, including the deciding bucket with two seconds on the clock. Sumler finished with a game-high 26 points to go along with eight rebounds and three steals, and he even finished off the first half with a buzzer-beater. The Catamounts needed every bit of his production, as he was the team's only double-figure scorer. WCU also posted a 35-26 rebounding advantage for the game, and the work on the boards proved instrumental while overcoming a seven- point deficit in the final eight minutes. On the season, Sumler leads the team in scoring (18.0 ppg) and steals (2.2 spg), and he is shooting 38.2 percent from beyond the arc. Tawaski King (11.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg) and Brandon Boggs (10.4 ppg) are also averaging double figures, while Tom Tankelewicz (9.8 ppg) ranks among the league leaders in 3-pointers made (63-of-163).
The Spartans boast the SoCon's leading scorer in junior swing man Trevis Simpson, who is averaging an even 20.0 ppg. Simpson is a 35-percent shooter from beyond the arc (46-of-130) and he also helps out on the boards with 4.2 rebounds per contest. Derrell Armstrong is next in line with 14.5 ppg, followed by Kayel Locke with 10.4 ppg. In Saturday's loss to Wofford, the Spartans entered the game averaging a league-best 72.6 points, but they wound up being held to a season-low 50 points. UNCG shot just 32.1 percent from the floor and 20 percent from beyond the arc, an effort that came only two nights after the team's season-best 60-percent showing from the floor and from beyond the arc against Furman. Simpson finished with 16 points and eight rebounds in the loss, although he was just 5-of-21 from the floor and was the team's only player in double figures. The Spartans missed all eight of their 3-point attempts after halftime.
The Catamounts have dominated this head-to-head series of late, and they enter this rematch playing much better than the Spartans over the past week.
Game Date and Time