By Carey Phillips
Carlos Dotson scored 23 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, and Matt Halvorsen scored 21 points Saturday powering Western Carolina to a 96-84 victory over Citadel before 3,497 fans at the Ramsey Center.
Also scoring in double figures for the Catamounts (17-10, 9-7), who remained tied with Mercer for fourth in the Southern Conference men’s basketball standings, were Mason Faulkner with 16, Onno Steger with 12 and Travion McCray with 11.
Citadel’s Fletcher Abee led all scorers with 28. Kaelon Harrison followed with 22, and Tyson Batiste had 17.
Abee hit a trio of three--pointers to spark an early 12-2 run giving the Bulldogs a 12-5 lead with 15:54 to play in the first half.
The margin reached 23-15 on Harris’ jumper at the 11:09 mark.
WCU turned things around with a 12-3 spurt, capped by Tyler Harris’ basket, to go up 27-26 with 7:36 on the clock.
The Cats’ largest lead of the half was 33-28 on Faulkner’s three-pointer at the 5:30 mark, and it was 39-35 at halftime.
They extended the margin to 53-42 on Xavier Cork’s basket to end a 9-2 spurt with 15:20 to play.
The largest lead was 61-46 on Dotson’s two foul shots with 12:43 left.
Citadel cut the gap to 70-66 after eight straight points, including Harris’ three-point play, with 7:10 on the clock.
Western regained control with a 13-3 run, including six by Dotson, for an 83-69 advantage on Halvorsen’s three-pointer at the 4:07 mark.
WCU shot 47.8 percent from the floor, and the Bulldogs made 46.7 percent of their tries.
The Cats had a 37-30 rebounding edge. Batiste led Citadel with six.
The Bulldogs committed 14 turnovers, and Western had eight.
Completing the WCU scoring were Cork with five, Jason McMillan and Adam Sledd both with three and Harris with two.