Late spurt pushes Western Carolina to 74-72 win over VMI
VMI (10-10, 5-6 SoCon) led 55-50 after a Myles Lewis layup with 8:46 left. The Catamounts (9-11, 2-9 SoCon) responded with seven straight points to retake the lead and outscored VMI 14-4 over the next four minutes and led 64-59 following Cory Hightower’s layup at the 4:30 mark.
The Keydets tied the game at 66-66 with 1:32 remaining after Parham converted a layup but Xavier Cork responded with a jumper with 1:20 to put the Catamounts on top for good and Faulkner pushed in a jumper to make it 70-66 with 0:43 left. Curfman drilled his fifth 3-pointer with 0:39 on the clock to pull the Keydets within 70-69 but that would be as close as they would get.
VMI placed five in double figures for the second straight game as Jake Stephens and Kamdyn Curfman led the way with 17 points apiece.
Greg Parham finished with 12 points, while Trey Bonham and Sean Conway ended the contest with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
“Credit goes to Western Carolina,” VMI coach Dan Earl said. “They made plays, especially down the stretch, particularly Faulkner and Cork. Foul trouble hurt us and I didn’t think we were as aggressive or solid on defense as we needed to be. On offense, we weren’t as sharp as we would like and didn’t share the ball as well as we normally do. When you couple those things with missing some open looks, unfortunately we were not able to pull out a win on the road.
“We will learn from our mistakes and continue pushing forward. We have a big one against Samford on Saturday.”
The Keydets return to action Saturday hosting Samford in a 1 p.m. tipoff at Cameron Hall. Fans will be unable to attend in person but can stream the game on ESPN+.