Three double-doubles send Western Carolina past VMI, 69-60

vmiThe Western Carolina Catamounts got double-doubles from three different players and led for the final 34 minutes en route to a 69-60 win over the VMI Keydets in Southern Conference action Saturday afternoon at Cameron Hall in Lexington.

The two teams battled back and forth early, but Western (9-15, 4-7 SoCon) used an 11-2 run to take control of the game, beginning at the 14:16 mark, and the Catamounts would not trail again. WCU went up by as many as 17 in the second half and although the Keydets (6-16, 1-10) got back within six at one point, the visitors held on for their first road win of the season.

Mike Brown led the way for WCU with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Justin Browning (12 and 12) and Torrion Brummitt (15 and 11) chipped in with double-doubles as well. Julian Eleby led all scorers with 20 points, while QJ Peterson added 14, all in the second half.

After WCU took the lead early, the Catamounts led by as many as 14 in the opening period behind 10 points from Brown and a 54.2% effort from the field. Western led by 12 going to the locker room, and pushed that lead to a game-high 17 with 11:05 remaining.

The Keydets battled back from there, using an 14-3 run to climb back within six after a Jordan Weethee three-pointer with 5:57 on the clock. Brown scored on the ensuing possession, however, and the Keydets got no closer than eight the rest of the way.

The Catamounts finished the game shooting 26 of 53 overall (49.1%) and held a 34-16 edge in points in the paint. WCU was 4 of 12 from three-point range (33.3%) and 13 of 18 from the line, while the Keydets were 20 of 57 overall (35.1%), 8 of 29 from long range (27.6%) and 12 of 17 from the charity stripe (70.6%).

VMI basketball will return to action Monday, when the Keydets take on the Wofford Terriers in Spartanburg, S.C. Action gets underway at 7 p.m.


Press Conference: VMI Head Coach Dan Earl

“Western Carolina played well and hit some timely shots toward the end of the shot clock. They were able to take care of the ball down the stretch when we were making it interesting.”

“Unfortunately for us, it’s kind of the same tune. We shoot 35 percent on the game and 27 percent from three. It’s hard to win shooting that poorly a percentage. I thought our defense was good and they got some timely rebounds and got an extra possession at the end of the clock and it kind of takes the wind out of your sail. We have to do a better job rebounding the ball and certainly we have to put the ball in the basket.”

“We’re searching for some different answers and decided to start with a different lineup. We’re trying to push the ball and play faster. Western Carolina did a good job denying passes but we want to play faster. We’ll continue to evaluate everything and be ready to go at Wofford.”

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