Thursday, December 19, 2013
CULLOWHEE, N.C. – Arlon Harper tallied a season-high 26 points to lead Charleston Southern back from an eight-point halftime deficit but Western Carolina hit a school record 20 three-pointers to defeat the Bucs, 92-84, at the Ramsey Center on Wednesday night.
Western Carolina senior guard Tom Tankelewicz put on a brilliant shooting display to lead the Catamounts (6-7) , connecting on 10 of 18 from beyond the arc for a career-high 30 points. The Catamounts hit 20 of 35 from beyond the arc as a team. WCU's Brandon Boggs knocked down six triples and chipped in 22 points, while Trey Sumler added 18.
Harper scored 15 of his 26 points after halftime to push CSU (3-6) back into the lead several times after WCU had opened up a nine-point advantage. Senior Matt Kennedy contributed an efficient 18 points on only nine shot attempts, and Will Saunders also reached double figures with 12 points.
"I thought Western Carolina played very well," CSU head coach Barclay Radebaugh said. "Obviously, they shot the lights out of the ball and made some very difficult shots. We'll have to go back and see defensively where we can improve. We haven't had a team shoot like that against us since maybe one of the old VMI teams. They played very well and answered our runs. I thought the first 12 minutes of the second half we played much better. The first half, I didn't think we were ready to play and we let them get some confidence and momentum."
An 8-0 run allowed the Bucs to surge ahead, 57-56, with 13:21 remaining, as Harper came up with a steal and went end to end for an old-fashioned three-point play.
CSU enjoyed its last lead of the nip and tuck with eight minutes left as Saunders drove the lane and found Paul Gombwer for a layup and a 64-62 Bucs lead.
The Bucs tied the game at 71-71 with four straight free throws but Tankelewicz drilled one of his 10 3-pointers at the 4:17 mark to give the Catamounts the lead for good.
CSU wraps up a three-game road swing Saturday at Central Arkansas. Tipoff in Conway, Ark. is set for 1 p.m. eastern time.
"Our tough schedule continues and hopefully we can get this thing figured out and get on the right track and continue to work hard to get ready for conference play," Radebaugh said. "Central Arkansas is a much improved team. They're a dribble-drive team that shoots the ball well and is very athletic. It will be a real challenge for us."