Samford 63, W. Carolina 58

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Gregg Wooten scored a career-high 14 points, Jeffrey Merritt and Josh Davis added 12 each to help Samford earn a 63-58 victory over Western Carolina on Thursday night in the Southern Conference opener for both teams.

Samford trailed 41-37 with 7:26 to play, but a dunk by Merritt, a 3 from Davis and a layup from Kaylin Johnson gave the Bulldogs a 44-43 lead.

The Bulldogs (5-3) shot 19 of 42 from the floor (45.2 percent), while holding the Catamounts to 19 of 54 (35.2 percent).

Mike Williams scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Western Carolina (4-5), which failed to break the 60-point plateau for the first time this season.

Samford led by as many as 25-13 with 5:15 left in the opening half and entered halftime with a 25-17 lead. The Catamounts shot 6 for 27 in the first half (22.2 percent).

Andy King came off the bench to score 11 points for the Bulldogs.