North Division No. 3 Western Carolina breezed past South No. 2 Wofford 82-59 Saturday afternoon in the U.S. Cellular Center. It was a total team effort as six Catamounts scored in double figures. Harouna Mutombo led the way with
17 points and eight rebounds. Tawaski King added 14 points and 10 boards, while Trey Sumler chipped in 12 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
Brad Loesing tallied 23 points and five assists for the Terriers. Lee Skinner had 12 points and eight rebounds as well.
Western immediately built on its six-point halftime lead with an 11-2 run to take a 15-point advantage, 49-34, on King's layup at 16:20. Wofford never got closer than 11 from that point on.
The lead was 12, 71-59, before the Catamounts closed the contest with 12 unanswered points. Back-to-back three-pointers from Mutombo and Keaton Cole, along with tenacious defense, put the exclamation point on the win. Western did not allow a Wofford field goal over the final 6:58.
Cole had 16 points on a sharp shooting day hitting five-of-seven from the floor including two-for-three from beyond the arc. Brandon Boggs and Preston Ross each had 11. WCU shot 55.8 percent (29-52) from the field and 50 percent (7-14) from three-point range as a team.
As hot as the Catamounts shot it, the Terriers were cold. Wofford managed just 32.8 percent shooting (20-61) making just three of 24 three-point efforts (12.5%). The Catamounts and Spartans will square off Sunday at 6:00 p.m. in the first semifinal. The game can be seen on the SoCon Sports Network and will be shown on ESPN3.
Davidson 73, Furman 54
Davidson, the No.1 seed in the South Division, took control early and never looked back in a 73-54 win over South No. 5 Furman in the Southern Conference Basketball Quarterfinals Saturday evening. A trio of 17-point scorers led the Wildcats into Sunday's semifinals.
De'Mon Brooks had 17 points and five rebounds inside for Davidson. Chris Czerapowicz and Tyler Kalinoski scored 17 apiece mostly from the outside. The duo combined to hit eight of 13 from beyond the arc. Kalinoski made five of seven threes off the bench while adding four assists.
Colin Reddick and Charlie Reddick had 10 points each to lead the Paladins. They both grabbed six rebounds as well. Colin blocked three shots and Charlie made three steals.
Davidson jumped out early. It led by as many as 16, 35-19, in the opening frame on a Will Riegel layup at 3:53. Furman scored seven unanswered points to get within nine, 35-26, on Jordan Loyd's jumper before the Wildcats took a 37-27 lead into the break.
It was more of the same in the second half. It was a 10-point game, 54-44, on a three-point play by Charlie Reddick at 6:32, but that's as close as it would get. Kalinoski's trey at 4:21 capped an 8-0 run for the Wildcats putting the game out of reach. Furman battled but the Wildcats closed strong for the 73-54 final.
Davidson limited the Paladins to just 37.7 percent (20-53) shooting while hitting 47.4 percent (27-57) of its own shots. That includes 38.5 percent (10-26) from three-point range powered by Kalinoski and Czerapowicz.
Elon 65, Georgia Southern 58
Jack Isenbarger scored 18 points to lead North Division No. 2 Elon to a 65-58 win over South No. 3 Georgia Southern. He was the lone double-digit scorer for the winners.
Eric Ferguson had a game-high 21 points and nine rebounds for the Eagles. Willie Powers added 10 points, six assists and three steals. Two Isenbarger free throws gave Elon its biggest lead of 11, 31-20, at the 1:59 mark of the first half. GSU scored seven unanswered points to close within four at the half, 31-27.
It was like watching the tide roll in from there. Elon would surge ahead only to see the Eagles chip away. Ben Drayton's three from the right corner at 8:57 knotted the game at 48-all with the momentum seemingly all in GSU's favor. The Phoenix scored the next six points taking a 54-48 lead on a layup by Ryley Beaumont at 6:21. Drayton hit another three on the Eagles' next possession before Elon built some breathing room.
Lucas Troutman hit one of two free throws at 3:50 to make it an eight-point game, 60-52. Georgia Southern had an answer scoring on layups by Ferguson and Drayton and then a jumper by Jelani Hewitt to slice the margin to two, 60-58 with 2:19 remaining. But that was it for the Eagles. The Phoenix scored the last five points with Isenbarger's final two free tosses cementing the 65-58 win.
Elon shot 53.3 percent (24-45) for the game compared to GSU's 46.0 percent (23-50). The Eagles scored 21 points off 15 Elon turnovers. The Phoenix take on Davidson in the second semifinal contest Sunday at 8:30 p.m. The game can be viewed on the SoCon Sports Network and ESPN3.com. Live stats are on the SoConSports.com men's basketball page.
Photo Courtesy: De'Mon Brooks of Davidson, Southern Conference Athletics