By Carey Phillips

 

Western Carolina built a comfortable first half lead and coasted to an 89-76 non-conference men’s basketball victory at Tennessee Tech on Dec. 21.

WCU shot a season-high 60.4 percent from the field and made 14 of 27 three-pointers.

Kameron Gibson led a balanced scoring attack for the Catamounts (8-3) with 16 points in front of 1,392 fans at the Eblen Center. Also in double figures were Matt Halvorsen with 15, Mason Faulkner with 13 and Carlos Dotson with 11.

Junior Clay paced the Golden Eagles with 17 points. Larry Kuimi added 14, and Keishawn Davidson had 11.

Western led from the opening basket – a three--pointer by Halvorsen 48 seconds into the game.

Travion McCray’s four points keyed a 12-3 run, capped by Marcus Thomas’ three-pointer, for a 31-15 advantage with 7:37 on the clock.

The lead reached 43-26 on Gibson’s trey at the 3:16 mark, and it was 46-32 at halftime.

Xavier Cork had four points in a 10-2 spurt for a 58-38 lead with 14:47 to play.

The Cats matched that margin at 80-60 on Faulkner’s three-pointer with 6:38 remaining.

Tech was limited to 42.9 percent field goal shooting.

Faulkner’s 10 rebounds gave him a double-double and allowed Western to dominate the glass 38-23. No one had more than three rebounds for the Eagles.

The Cats committed twice as many turnovers as Tech, 22-11.

Completing the WCU scoring were Onno Steger with nine, McCray with eight, Cork with six, Thomas with five, Adam Sledd with four and D.J. Myers with two.