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Catamounts renew Mountain Rivalry with UNC Asheville Saturday

CULLOWHEE, NC – The Western Carolina men’s basketball team makes the short trip to UNC Asheville on Saturday afternoon when the Catamounts take on the Bulldogs at Kimmel Arena at 2 p.m

Saturday’s game will be streamed on ESPN+ (paid subscription required) with live audio coverage on the Catamount Sports Network beginning at 1:30 p.m. Free live statistics are also available via catamountsports.com.

WCU (4-2), winner of four straight victories, goes into Saturday’s showdown after sweeping the McNeese State MTE in Lake Charles, Louisiana last weekend. The Catamounts opened the weekend with an 88-69 win over the Cowboys before notching up two overtime wins against Lamar and Lindenwood on Saturday and Sunday. Red Shirt Junior Tyzhaun Claude averaged a double-double in the event with 17.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in three games. Claude had 19 points and 11 rebounds in the win over McNeese State and finished the tournament with 16 points and 13 rebounds in WCU’s overtime win over Lindenwood on Sunday. classmate Tre Jackson WCU offensively led WCU during the stretch with an 18.7 point average, including a career-best 21-point breakout against McNeese State and a 19-point team lead in the win over Lindenwood.

UNC Asheville enters the competition with a 3-2 season record after finishing 2-1 at last weekend’s Georgia State-hosted Capitol Classic. The Bulldogs defeated Texas A&M Commerce 72-64 in Friday’s tournament opener before losing to Eastern Kentucky 77-75 on Saturday and beating Georgia State 74-68 on Sunday. Preseason Big South Player of the Year Drew Pember leads the Bulldogs and ranks in the top 25 in the US with 21.6 points per game. Pember also leads the Bulldogs in averaging 8.4 rebounds per game and has the team’s best 14 blocks. Taijon Jones is also in double figures with an average of 15.6 points per game.

The Bulldogs and Catamounts have previously met 55 times, with WCU holding a 32-23 advantage in the all-time series. At last year’s meeting in Cullowhee, UNC Asheville emerged victorious 73-72 and grabbed a four-game WCU winning streak. The Catamounts are 13-4 in games at Asheville and have won on their last two visits to the Justice Center, including an 83-81 win in overtime in 2020.

WCU returns to Ingles Court at the Ramsey Center next week and welcomes Gardner-Webb Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. before hosting a second-half doubleheader with the Catamount women’s basketball team at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 3 .

Follow all things Catamount men’s basketball and WCU Athletics through our social media channels on Facebook (fb.com/catamountsports), Instagram (@catamountmbb @wcu_catamounts) and Twitter (@CatamountMBB @catamounts).

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