Sunday, December 2, 2012

Second half rally dooms Catamounts, 72-70

The Catamounts traveled to Richmond, Kentucky Saturday night, flying high, coming off a road conference win over Furman.  They returned to earth quickly however, losing to Eastern Kentucky by a final score of 72-70.  The Cats overall record dropped to just 3-5 and RPI to 307 out of 347 teams.

The Catamounts have now lost the second straight game to a team from the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC), losing to Austin Peay in the Cancun Classic by a final score of 72-71.

It seems that teams from the OVC have found the key to beating the Catamounts on the road. For the second time this season, an OVC team used the same strategy to out maneuver the Cats. Back on November 20th, Austin Peay went to the locker room down 12 at the half, then rallied in the second half to defeat Western Carolina, 72-71. The Catamounts allowed the Governors to scorch the Cancun ballroom for 70 percent (14 of 20) shooting in the second half, while the Governors held the Cats to a dismal 13 of 38 from the field (34%), and 2 of 12 from 3 point range (16%).

Fast forward to Saturday in Richmond, Kentucky. The Catamounts had their game with EKU well in hand at the half, taking a 11 point lead over the Colonels into the locker room.   However, once the second half started, a replay of Austin Peay's Cancun performance unfolded. The Colonels held WCU to just 9 of 30 shots made from the field (30%) and only 1 of 13 from 3 point range (8%).  The Cats allowed EKU to penetrate inside for many easy baskets, allowing the Colonels to score 42 points in the paint.

The Catamounts leading scorer, Trey Sumler, who was averaging 18 points per game, was held to just 9 points by the Colonels.

It doesn't get any easier for The Cats, as they will travel on Tuesday, Dec. 4 to Champaign, Ill., to meet their second-straight undefeated team, the #22 ranked Fighting Illini of Illinois . Illinois is currently 7-0 overall on the season. The start time is scheduled for 8:00 pm ET in Illinois' Assembly Hall.

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