Western Carolina wins rivalry game over UNCA in Mountain Invitational, 76-72

Marcus Thomas scores two of his game-high 21 points (WLOS Staff).jpg

WLOS - The inaugural Mountain Invitational at the U.S. Cellular Center delivered a fantastic nightcap between rivals Western Carolina and UNC Asheville. The Bulldogs led by as many as seven in the first half, before WCU clawed back to head to the locker room trailing 34-32 at the half.

The second half featured much of the same back-and-forth, with the teams exchanging the lead six times throughout the game. The critical juncture of the game came at the 9:11 mark in the second half with UNCA leading 56-48. The Catamounts reeled off a 10-0 run over the next three and a half minutes. Western never gave the lead back, taking it with a final score of 76-72.

Marcus Thomas scored a game-high 21 points for the Cats, who also got 19 from Mike Amius.

The Bulldogs were paced by Ahmad Thomas, chipping in 17. Jonathan Baehre turned in a sold performance, filling the stat sheet with 9 points, 4 assists, 3 blocks, and 3 steals.

UNCA falls to 6-5 with the loss, and returns to action Tuesday on the road at UNC Greensboro. Western Carolina improves to 4-7, and hosts High Point on Tuesday.

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