By Associated Press - Sunday, December 17, 2017

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Freshman Marcus Thomas scored a season-high 21 points, Mike Amius had 19 points and nine rebounds, and Western Carolina beat UNC Asheville 76-72 on Sunday in the Mountain Rivalry.

Thomas topped his previous high by 19 points after scoring two points in the opener against Clemson. He was 7-of-11 shooting against UNC Asheville with two 3-pointers and five free throws.

Western Carolina trailed 34-32 at halftime but Amius gave them the lead for good, 57-56, with seven minutes to go. Deriece Parks’ 3-pointer made it 68-62.

Jonathan Baehre hit a 3 with 18 seconds left to pull UNC Asheville to 73-72 but Amius was fouled on a dunk and completed the 3-point play with six seconds left. MaCio Teague missed a shot at the buzzer.

Parks added 16 points for Western Carolina (4-7) and Marc Gosselin 11.

Ahmad Thomas led UNC Asheville (6-5) with 17 points. Kevin Vannatta added 12 and Teague 11.

It was the first time UNC Asheville has played at Asheville’s downtown arena, U.S. Cellular Center, since an 85-71 win over Western Carolina on Dec. 4, 2004.

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