By Carey Phillips
Matt Halvorsen, Mason Faulkner and Carlos Dotson all scored 20 points powering Western Carolina to a 97-85 Southern Conference men’s basketball victory at Virginia Military on Jan. 8.
Dotson and Faulkner had double-doubles with 13 and 10 rebounds, respectively.
Also scoring in double figures for the Catamounts were Tyler Harris with 13 and Onno Steger with 10.
The Keydets had six players score in double figures before 645 fans at Cameron Hall. Garrett Gilkeson led the way with 18. Jake Stephens and Myles Lewis both scored 13, followed by Kamdyn Curfman and Travis Evee with 11 apiece and Greg Parham with 10.
VMI was in control during the early going and built a 20-11 lead on Gilkeson’s layup with 12:51 to play in the first half.
WCU went on a 15-2 run, including five by Dotson, to lead 31-24 following Marcus Thomas’ fast break layup with 4:48 on the clock.
The Keydets came within one and had a chance to tie when Lewis made one of two foul shots making it 31-30 at the 2:15 mark.
Western led 38-35 at halftime.
Halvorsen scored five in a 10-2 spurt for a 56-46 advantage on Harris’ layup with 13:12 to play.
Stephens’ fast break layup narrowed the deficit to 84-80 at the 2:40 mark.
Halvorsen’s three-pointer and a layup by Dotson helped the Cats stay in control at 91-82 with 49 seconds on the clock.
The final represented the game’s largest lead.
WCU shot 50 percent from the floor, including 57.6 percent in the second half, and held VMI to 39.5 percent.
Western had a 47-39 rebounding advantage. Tyler Creammer led the Keydets with 10.
The Cats committed 14 turnovers, and VMI had eight.
Completing the WCU scoring were Thomas with five, Xavier Cork with four, Travion McCray with three and Kameron Gibson with two.