West. Carolina tallies major blowout
Catamounts fourth Division I team to win by 100-plus margin
CULLOWHEE, N.C. -- Western Carolina seems to have all of its record-setting performances against Division II Toccoa Falls.
The Catamounts posted the third-largest margin of victory in NCAA history when they tallied a 141-39 beat down of the Eagles Tuesday night. Western Carolina set school records for most points scored in a game and largest margin of victory. Both of the previous records were also set against Toccoa Falls.
The Catamounts beat the Eagles 133-58 in November 2001, and have won all six meetings between the schools.
ESPN showed video clips from the game, and Yahoo! Sports used the headline, “Not a typo” above a blog on the game. Coach Larry Hunter was surprised Wednesday by all the attention the game was getting, suggesting he did what he could to keep the score reasonable.
“I subbed right through our bench,” Hunter said. “You can’t tell your guys not to play.”
Eagles coach Lance Martin wasn’t immediately available for comment Wednesday.
Western Carolina (9-10) is only the fourth NCAA Division I team to win by 100-or-more points in a single game.
The Catamounts had lost their previous two games before facing the Eagles (3-6). In 4 1/2 minutes, it was apparent Hunter’s players were doing just as he asked.
Western Carolina scored the game’s first 18 points before David Brown got the first basket for Toccoa Falls. At the 9:22 mark of the first half, the Catamounts were up 47-6. When Preston Ross dunked with two seconds left in the half, Western Carolina had run up a 72-17 advantage, also a school record for most points in a half.
“I didn’t want anybody showboating, anybody being cute,” Hunter said. “It was about us doing what we were supposed to do.”
Toccoa Falls worked to keep the scoring down in the second half, and Hunter said while his team backed off on defense, the Eagles continued to struggle.
“We never pressed,” Hunter said. “They walked it up the court, but they would either turn it over or take a quick shot and away we went.”
When it was over, Western Carolina had shot 58 percent from the floor, including 60.5 percent in the first half. The Catamounts out-rebounded the Eagles, 62-16, had 20 steals and forced 27 turnovers.
Hunter played everyone on his 12-man roster, and nine of them scored in double figures, led by 18 points from Trey Sumler.
“Our guys were very businesslike. Even after the game, our guys weren’t celebrating,” he said. “I told our guys even before the game that we were going to play a lot of people. We only had five turnovers.”
Josh Barrett led Toccoa Falls with 17 points, the only player in double figures for the Eagles. In addition to ball-handling woes, the Eagles shot 28.3 percent and had just two steals.