By Carey Phillips
Carlos Dotson turned in a double-double with 20 points and 14 rebounds Feb. 5 leading Western Carolina to a 78-70 men’s Southern Conference basketball victory at Samford.
A crowd of 378 in the Hanna Center saw Onno Steger and Mason Faulkner add 18 and 16 points, respectively, for the Catamounts.
Robert Allen topped the Bulldogs with 15. Jalen Dupree followed with 14, while Brandon Austin and J.P. Robinson both had 10.
WCU led most of the first half, but Samford took a 23-20 edge at the 4:46 mark after eight straight points, including four by Allen, capped by Robinson’s basket.
The Cats regained the lead at 29-27 on Faulkner’s three-pointer with 1:15 on the clock.
They led 34-30 at halftime as Douglas Elks hit a three-pointer to beat the buzzer.
Robinson’s trey pulled the Bulldogs into a 37-37 tie with 17:41 left in the game.
Tyler Harris’ basket gave Western the lead for good, 39-37, at the 17:08 mark. That started a 14-1 run, including eight by Steger, for a 51-38 advantage with 12:52 on the clock.
The margin reached 67-50 on Dotson’s three-point play at the 7:03 mark.
Samford narrowed the deficit to 72-65 on Austin’s free throw with 1:01 to play.
The Cats made six of 10 free throws in the final minute to secure the win.
WCU shot 46.7 percent from the field and held the Bulldogs to 33.3 percent.
The Cats had a 43-37 rebounding edge. Dupree and Donte Tatum had seven apiece for Samford.
Western committed 15 turnovers, and the Bulldogs had 12.
Completing the WCU scoring were Harris and Matt Halvorsen with eight apiece, Xavier Cork with four, Elks with three and Travion McCray with one.