The Citadel Dominates Cincinnati Christian, 78-55
CHARLESTON, S.C. Three Bulldogs scored in double-digits to lead The Citadel past Cincinnati Christian, 78-55. Cameron Wells led the Bulldogs with a game-high 20 points. Demetrius Nelson scored 17 and grabbed four boards, while Zach Urbanus had 14 points and led the Bulldogs with seven rebounds.
“I thought it was very important that we come out and assert ourselves better on the defensive end,” said head coach Ed Conroy. “Credit Cincinnati Christian. I thought they came out well, and they are a well-coached team. They had a really nice game plan and they really made us pay with the 3-pointer early.”
The Eagles scored the first points of the game after Chris Scott nailed a 3-pointer with 0:00 left on the shot clock. Freshman Cosmo Morabbi, who earned the first start of his collegiate career, got the Bulldogs their first points of the game after nailing two free throws to put the Bulldogs down by one. Daniel Eykyn followed up with a 3-pointer to give the Bulldogs the lead.
Trenton Calloway responded with a jumper in the lane to tie the score at five apiece before Wells responded with a pull-up jumper to put the Bulldogs back on top. A 5-5 tie would be the last tie of the game and the Bulldogs managed to keep the Eagles from taking another lead.
The Citadel was up by as many as nine with 13:32 left in the half after Austin Dahn hit a free throw. The Eagles managed to cut the lead to six with a 3-pointer by Sheldon McNeil, but Urbanus answered to put two more points on the board. Cincinnati Christian was able to get within two at 23-21, but a Bulldog run would put the Bulldogs up by 11. The Eagles continued to chop at the lead, getting within five before the Bulldogs worked to increase the lead.
Two foul shots from Wells put the Bulldogs up by seven. A 3-pointer by Urbanus increased the lead to 10 before back-to-back foul shots by Urbanus put the Bulldogs up by 12. Cincinnati Christian put two more points on the board after Calloway hit two free throws. The Citadel went up by 15 with a jumper by Morabbi, but Scott hit a jumper with 0:27 left in the half to drop the Bulldog lead to 13.
The Bulldogs dominated on both offense and defense throughout the first half, shooting 88.2 percent from the foul line and 46.2 percent from the field. At the end of the half, the Bulldogs were up by 13 points with a score of 44-31. Nelson led the Bulldogs at the half with 12 points, while Urbanus had 11. Wells scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half.
“Cameron brings versatility to this team,” added Conroy. “He is a strong guard and anytime you have a point guard with that kind of size and strength, it is nice to get him on the block. It really helps us get to the free throw line.
In the second half, the Bulldogs carried the momentum from the first half, scoring the first bucket of the half off a jumper in the paint by Nelson. Wells followed with a drive to the basket for a layup to put the Bulldogs up, 48-31. The Eagles scored at the 18:04 mark with a 3-pointer by Scott. Jake Santel went to the foul line to shoot three, making 2-of-3, to put the Eagles within 12. A layup by Calloway with 16:17 on the clock cut the lead to 10.
The Bulldogs refused to let the Eagles get back in the game. Matt Clark nailed a 3-pointer from the corner to put The Citadel up by 13, but the Eagles answered right back with a jump shot by Vondaze Thornton. Back-to-back free throws and jumper by Wells put the Bulldogs back up by 15.
As the second half went on, the Bulldogs continued to dominate. The Eagles only managed to get within nine in the second half after a layup by Nathanael Harney made the score, 61-52. A nine-point deficit would be the closest the Eagles would come. The Bulldogs scored 12 straight points before the Eagles would score again. Cincinnati Christian got back on the board with two free throws by Drew Ellis.
Cincinnati Christian would score again with a free throw by Scott, which gave the Eagles their last bucket of the game. With 2:24 left in regulation, the Bulldogs’ defense refused to let the Eagles score anymore. The Citadel scored four more points off a jumper by Matt Roberts, a free throw by John Brown and two foul shots by Phillip Pandak to give the Bulldogs a 78-55 victory.
The Eagles were led by Harney with 12 points and Scott with 11 points. Calloway led the team in rebounds with five. Cincinnati Christian shot 70.6 percent from the foul line and 46.7 percent from the behind the arc. The Citadel finished the game shooting 74.2 percent from the stripe and 47.1 percent from the field.
“In both halves, we got in the bonus early with Cameron getting inside and getting in the paint, along with Demetrius Nelson, which was really beneficial to the game,” Conroy continued. “We work awfully hard on free throws. We shoot them every day, in volume, and under pressure. We do everything we can to get our guys prepared, and I am certainly glad that the hard work is paying off for them.”
The Citadel will be back in action on Tuesday, Nov. 25 when they battle the Buccaneers of Charleston Southern at 7:00 p.m. at the North Charleston Coliseum. Tuesday’s game will be the Bulldogs’ last game before they head to Cancun, Mexico to conclude the Cancun Challenge Tournament.
For more information on Bulldog Basketball, visit the official website of The Citadel Athletics at www.CitadelSports.com.