Fieldhouse Report, 01.08.2019

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Furman’s Alex Hunter lays in a basket against Mercer (photo – Furman Athletics)

REGIONAL

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (January 8, 2019) – Men’s College Basketball – After dropping two consecutive games, Furman rebounded with two convincing Southern Conference wins last week to move to 14-2 on the season and 3-1 in the conference. The Paladins defeated Mercer (5-10, 0-3), 71-58, on Thursday and followed it up with a 101-85 victory over the Citadel (9-5, 1-2) on Saturday. Furman’s Matt Rafferty  (17.6 ppg) and Jordan Lyons (16.9) are the fifth and sixth-leading scorers in the conference, respectively.

Elsewhere in the NCAA DI ranks, Western Carolina picked up a SoCon upset win against Samford (11-6) on Saturday.  On the year, the Catamounts are 4-13 and 1-3 in conference games.

UNCA (2-13, 0-1) fell in their Big South opener to Winthrop this weekend, 80-65, with freshman guard DeVon Baker leading the team with 23 points.

Montreat is set to tip off against the Union College (Ky.) Bulldogs tonight in Barboursville, Kentucky. The Bulldogs are 12-3 overall and ranked #7 in the NAIA’s DII. The Mountain Five teams and their records to date include:

  • Montreat (NAIA DII 10-2, 7-1)
  • Mars Hill (NCAA DII 6-5, 1-3)
  • Warren Wilson (USCAA DII 7-9, 2-1)
  • Lees-McRae (NCAA DII 5-10, 2-4)
  • Brevard (NCAA DIII 4-8, 1-4)
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Panthers’ running back Christian McCaffrey (photo – RSJ)

Pro Football – Late last week I contributed an article to Forbes on All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey. While the Carolina Panthers’ season grew progressively worse, the second-year running back emerged as a star for the team.

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Brevard College’s Ryan Roon (photo – Brevard Athletics)

College Baseball – An advantage of college baseball over the pros is that it starts well before spring in early February. Last week, the Brevard Tornados released their 2019 schedule, which includes a planned February 13 game against Montreat. Ryan Roon led all Tornados’ regulars last season with a .342 average as a sophomore. 

The most interesting team to follow early could be the Western Carolina Catamounts, who won only seven regular-season games in 2018, but followed that up with four wins in the Southern Conference tournament. They eliminated the top-seeded UNC Greensboro Spartans before ultimately bowing out of the tournament after their second postseason loss to Mercer.

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