By Carey Phillips
Onno Steger poured in 31 points and Mason Faulkner had a triple-double as Western Carolina routed Samford 109-78 in Southern Conference men’s basketball action Feb. 26 before 1,474 fans at the Ramsey Center.
Faulkner finished with 16 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
Carlos Dotson had a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards.
Also scoring in double figures for the Catamounts were Travion McCray with 12 and Xavier Cork with 11.
Josh Sharkey scored 30 points for the Bulldogs. Brandon Austin and Deandre Thomas finished with 16 and 15, respectively.
Steger’s three-pointer gave WCU the lead for good, 12-9, with 13:48 to play in the first half. It started a 9-2 run, capped by Matt Halvorsen’s trey, for an 18-11 advantage with 10:09 on the clock.
Western built the lead throughout the first half and went to the locker room up 53-33 on McCray’s buzzer-beater.
The margin was 75-46 at the 12:48 mark as Tyler Harris’ layup ended a 12-2 spurt, including five by Steger.
Halvorsen’s layup made it 83-50 with 9:34 left.
The Cats reached the century mark at 102-72 on a three-pointer by Douglas Elks with 4:07 on the clock.
WCU shot 52.6 percent from the floor and limited the Bulldogs to 36.2 percent.
The Cats dominated the glass 52-33. Jalen Dupree led Samford with 10.
Both teams had 14 turnovers.
Completing the WCU scoring were Halvorsen and Harris both with seven, Elks with five, Adam Sledd with four, Jason McMillan with three and Marcus Thomas with two.