ASHEVILLE — Xavier Cork scored a career-high 22 points and Western Carolina routed UNC Wilmington 98-76 on Wednesday. Mason Faulkner added 21 points for the Catamounts, while Matt Halvorsen chipped in 20.
The 98 points are the most for the Catamounts in a season-opening game since scoring 96 in an 96-76 win over Eckerd to start the 1991-92 season.
Cork shot 10 for 13 from the field. He added three blocks. Faulkner also had eight rebounds. Travion McCray added 11 points for Western Carolina.
Jaylen Sims scored a career-high 27 points for the Seahawks while Jake Boggs added 17 points and eight rebounds. Ty Gadsden had 13 points. The game was new coach Takayo Siddle’s debut leading UNCW.
The game was the opener of the Mako Medical Asheville Classic featuring UNC Asheville and Troy.
Iowa 97, NC Central 67
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Luka Garza had 26 points and 10 rebounds to help No. 5 Iowa win their 10th consecutive opener, a 97-67 victory over North Carolina Central.
The Big Ten player of the year last season and the lone unanimous selection on the preseason AP All-America team, Garza had his 17th consecutive game of 20 points or more. He was 11 of 14 from the field against constant double-teams.
CJ Keyser led North Carolina Central with 15 points. Nicolas Fennell had 12.
“They did a good job early, being aggressive,” Garza said about the Eagles.
Davidson 82, High Point 73
DAVIDSON — Hyunjung Lee had career-highs with 23 points and nine assists, and Kellan Grady added 20 points to lead Davidson to an 82-73 win over High Point. Lee was 5 of 10 on 3-pointers, and he also had five rebounds.
High Point star guard John-Michael Wright kept the Panthers in contention, leading all scorers with 29 points on 10-of-18 shooting, including making six of his eight 3-point attempts. Ahmil Flowers added 14 points, and Denny Slay II scored 12 points in 22 minutes off the bench.
The win was the 595th of Davidson coach Bob McKillop’s career.
Elon 82, NC Wesleyan 52
ELON — Jerald Gillens-Butler had 19 points and nine rebounds, and Hunter McIntosh made 5 of 11 3-point attempts and scored 18 points while adding four assists in Elon’s 82-52 season-opening win over Division III North Carolina Wesleyan.
Federico Poser added 13 points and four rebounds for the Phoenix, and the Battling Bishops were led by Isaiah Lewis’ 16 points and five rebounds.
Illinois 122, NC A&T 60
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Ayo Dosunmu scored a career-high 28 points, freshman Adam Miller also scored 28 and No. 8 Illinois beat North Carolina A&T 122-60 on Wednesday in the season opener for both teams.
Kofi Cockburn added 18 points and 10 rebounds for his 13th double-double in 32 games. Dosunmu had 10 rebounds for his second career double-double.
Miller shot 10 of 12 from the field, including 6 of 8 from 3-point range, as Illinois fell five points short of its record scoring total. Illinois hit 17 of 32 3-pointers, a program record.
Blake Harris scored 12 points to lead the Aggies.
“This was a scrimmage for us,” Aggies coach Will Jones said. “We got to see how are guys can play. I saw some good things. Our guard play was good, I thought.”
Appalachian State 81, South Carolina State 61
ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Appalachian State scored 47 first-half points and built a 27-point lead at the break en route to an 81-61 over South Carolina State. The Mountaineers used a balanced attack, with four players scoring between 10-12 points, led by a dozen each from Donovan Gregory — all on 3-pointers — and RJ Duhart.
Both Gregory and Duhart added five rebounds. Floyd Rideau Jr. led South Carolina State with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting.