With a loss to the College of Charleston Cougars in the Quarterfinals of the 2009 Southern Conference Tournament, the Western Carolina men’s basketball season came to an end.
The Catamounts traveled to Chattanooga, Tennessee with a coveted first round bye after tying for first in the SoCon, which allowed them to rest an additional day before beginning the gauntlet of trying to win a conference championship. Unable to the ball in the net though, WCU was unable to advance as the Cougars thrashed the Catamounts 67-48..
The Catamounts had split the regular season match-ups against Charleston and were looking to get the last laugh by ending their postseason hopes.
After the game, head coach Larry Hunter of the Catamounts knew that his team didn’t have their best offensive game and gave the Cougars credit for the victory.
“Give Charleston credit, our shooting numbers, whether from the field or the free throw or 3-point line, were just atrocious,” said Hunter. “That’s a credit to them and some of it was our lack of execution, too.”
In what proved to be the final game of the season the Catamounts, they played solid defense on the Cougars powerful trio of post players, Jermaine Johnson, Dustin Scott, and Antwaine Wiggins-holding them to a combined eight points in the game.
That should have been enough to win coach Hunter said.
“I think if you would have told me before the game that Charleston posts Jermaine Johnson, Dustin Scott and Antwaine Wiggins would have a combined eight points in the ballgame, I think I would have taken that and our chances on maybe winning the game,” said Hunter.
In the absense of Charlestons normal leaders though, the rest of the Cougars accepted the challenge and picked up the slack. They were lead by Andrew Goudelock who had a game high 16 points. Goudelock, and the rest of the Cougars, were on fire from three point range, shooting fifty percent in the game.
Brandon Giles and Jake Robinson paced WCU in the game, scoring 10 points apiece for the Catamounts.
2008-2009 Season A Positive Overall
The Catamounts were one of the top four seeds in the conference tournament over achieved all year long.
Hunter led the Catamounts to the highest win total in his tenure as head coach. The Catamounts claimed a share of the Northern Division title for the second time in school history. The Catamounts won a very impressive 16 games this season, 11 of which came in front of Hunter’s Hooligans in the Ramsey Center. The 11 wins in Cullowhee were a record for the Ramsey Center.
WCU, who was a young team this year with only one senior, should have everyone returning for next year. With another year to gel and come together as a team, the Catamounts only have room to get better and improve on this year’s success.