Wells Moves Atop Scoring List in Loss to SIU Edwardsville
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Point guard Cameron Wells scored a team-high 14 points and in the process became The Citadel's all-time leading scorer, surpassing a 25-year-old mark set by Regan Truesdale, but it was not enough as SIU-Edwardsville emerged with the 59-55 victory at The Orleans Arena. The historic shot came when Wells, a senior from Houston, Texas, connected on a jumper from the top of the free throw line at the 15:54 mark of the second period. The Bulldogs complete the four-game swing at the IBN Las Vegas Classic and will face Chowan and Clemson in the final non-conference contests before opening Southern Conference play against Wofford on Jan. 6.
Along with Wells the Cadets were led statistically by Zach Urbanus (13 points) and Mike Groselle (12 points) as the trio finished with 14 of the team's 20 total field goals. Wells also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and was joined up from by Groselle (seven rebounds) and Bryan Streeter (six rebounds). The Citadel finished with a 40-29 edge on the glass due in large part to 14 offensive boards, four hauled in by Groselle. Wells dished out a team-high six assists, his second straight game with five assists or more. Teammate Austin Dahn tied a personal-high for consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer, 11, as the Bulldogs slip to 4-8 overall.
Center Nikola Bundalo recorded a game-high 16 points to go along with 11 rebounds to lead SIU-Edwardsville in scoring. He was joined by sharpshooter Corey Wickware, who knocked down 3-of-6 from beyond the arc en route to 13 points. In total, seven players scored three points or more for SIUE who finished 23-of-51 (45.1%) from field goal range. The key to the Cougars success came from beyond the arc as they finished 7-for-19 (36.8%), while The Citadel managed only 3-for-11 (27.3%). SIU-Edwardsville improves to 4-11 on the season following a win over Longwood on Wednesday.
The Bulldogs bounced back after a difficult shooting first half, tying the game at 30-30 when Wells drew a foul on a layup. Just over two minutes later Wells again hit the record breaking jumper as the Cadets remained within one point, 35-34, of the lead.
The game reached a climatic 41-41 tie on a shot from the right elbow by Dahn and The Citadel followed with buckets by Groselle and Wells to take their largest lead of the half, 45-41, with 10:13 remaining. The Cougars regained the lead with an 8-0 run, behind four points from Kevin Stineman, with just under eight minutes remaining.
Three points each by Wells and Streeter knotted the game at 51-51 with 6:25 remaining, but key shots kept SIU Edwardsville in front in the waning stages of the game. Leading 57-55, with 44 seconds remaining, a Steinman turnover gave The Citadel one final opportunity to secure the victory, but a layup rolled off the rim. Bundola converted the final two free throws in the 59-55 victory.
"We told the guys in the huddle that make or miss that we need to push the ball down the court quickly and I'll call a timeout if we need it," said Citadel Head Coach Chuck Driesell following the game. "I've seen a lot of games that end because a team can't get up the court, causing things to get discombobulated, and if that were the case I would've called a timeout and set something up. But, I realized that Cameron (Wells) had a good look and saw (Daniel) Eykyn opened and unfortunately he missed the layup. It's a tough break and hopefully next time he will get the layup and we will send the game to overtime."
Urbanus led all scorers at the break, netting 11 straight Bulldog points over a 6:02 span of the half, which pulled The Citadel within three points, 28-25, at the intermission. Groselle added four points in the paint and Dahn tied the longest 3-point streak of his career, 11 games, with a trey at the 8:44 mark of the opening stanza. Behind five rebounds from Wells and four by Streeter the Cadets finished with a 22-12 rebounding edge. Driesell's squad finished 5-of-6 from the free throw line, including a pair of conversions by Wells and Urbanus.
SIU Edwardsville jumped out to an early 10-2 lead highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers by Wickware and Rincker. The Dogs responded by scoring 10 of the next 16 points behind layups from Mike Dejworek and Cosmo Morabbi, cutting the lead to 18-12 with 8:27 remaining in the frame.
It was there that Urbanus began his scoring binge with 11 straight points for The Citadel, starting with a pair of free throws. He followed with a long range 3-pointer, cutting the Cougars lead to 23-19, before a jumper at the elbow with 5:07 remaining put the Bulldogs within two of the lead. SIU-Edwardsville answered with their final buckets of the half with a layup by Wickware and trey by David Boarden, pushing the lead to 28-21.
Urbanus netted his final shot of the half with 1:57 on the clock and following a Groselle layup The Citadel moved to within 28-25 at the break.
The Citadel will enjoy an eight-day break for the Christmas holidays before returning to action on December 31st, when they host Chowan College at McAlister Field House. For further news on Citadel Basketball please visit www.citadelsports.com.