- Associated Press - Saturday, January 2, 2016

CULLOWHEE, N.C. (AP) - T.J. Cromer scored 16 points, Deuce Bello added 15 and East Tennessee State beat Western Carolina 82-66 on Saturday in a Southern Conference opener.

ETSU led 48-32 at halftime by shooting 63 percent. After being down by as many as 19 early in the second half, Western Carolina battled back with an 11-2 run, including five straight points by Elijah Pughsley, to get within 55-45 with about 12 minutes left.

Ge’Lawn Guyn’s seventh point of the second half helped rebuild ETSU’s lead to 71-52 with five minutes left.

Isaac Banks and Guyn added 10 points apiece for East Tennessee State (7-6).

Mike Brown led Western Carolina (5-9) with 22 points. Torrion Brummitt had 15 points and 10 rebounds. The Catamounts were held to 3-of-28 shooting from 3-point range and 32 percent overall.

Western Carolina ousted ETSU from the 2015 Southern Conference tournament after losing 17 straight in the series.

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