Bulldogs, Volunteers Meet for Fourth Time in Program History
The Citadel-Tennessee Game Notes
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.— On Thursday, The Citadel Basketball team returns to action after a seven-day layoff when the Bulldogs go head-to-head with the University of Tennessee. The game, set to begin at 7 p.m. at Thompson-Boiling Arena, marks the completion of a three-game road stretch for the Cadets. Coincidentally it is the fourth all-time meeting between the two programs and first since the 2003-04 season.
THE CITADEL AGAINST THE SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE: The Citadel Basketball program is 32-89 against the 12 teams that comprise the Southeastern Conference entering the game against the Volunteers. The meeting marks the third against the University of Tennesse in the all-time history between the two programs and first since the 2003-04 season. It is the first time that the Bulldogs have squared off against an SEC opponent since Dec. 20, 2008, when they suffered an 80-66 loss at the hands of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. There are four SEC programs that the Cadets have no previous history with, including Arkansas, Kentucky, LSU and Mississippi State.
|SEC PROGRAM||Citadel Record vs.||Last Meeting|
|Alabama||2-1||Dec. 18, 1992|
|Auburn||1-1||Dec. 1, 1967|
|Florida||0-1||Jan. 29, 1963|
|Georgia||2-2||Dec. 3, 1962|
|Ole Miss||2-1||Dec. 30, 1970|
|South Carolina||25-75||Dec. 20, 2008|
|Tennessee||0-3||Dec. 17, 2003|
|Vanderbilt||0-5||Dec. 4, 1978|
LAST TIME OUT AGAINST THE VOLS (Dec. 17, 2003): Citadel Basketball coach Pat Dennis went small with his lineup against Tennessee on Dec. 17, 2003. But it was the size and strength of the Volunteers that made the Bulldogs look really small.
Tennessee (4-1) blocked nine shots and held The Citadel to 26-percent shooting, out-rebounding the Bulldogs, 57-26. It was the most points allowed and the biggest margin of defeat for a Citadel team since a 112-61 loss to South Carolina in 1996.
That likely would have been the result no matter what lineup Dennis started. The Bulldogs lead 2-0 early, but the Vols went on a 12-0 run and led 51-17 at halftime, with a 29-17 edge on the boards.
Guard C.J. Watson led Tennessee with 16 points, and 6-5 junior Scooter McFagdon added 15. Swingman Stanley Asumnu scored 12 points, and 6-8 sophomore Jemere Hendrix, a transfer from Clemson, had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Freshman guard Anthony Miller, who made his first start and rounded out a three-guard starting lineup, led the Bulldogs with 11 points. Reserve guard Erick Wilson added nine. Starters Max Mombollet, Kevin Hammack and Dante Terry were able to do little against the Vols, combining to score 12 points on 6-of-27 shooting.
Up by 17 at the half, Tennessee started the second half with an 8-0 run to lead 59-19, and the Bulldogs never got closer than 38 the rest of the way. It was Tennessee's biggest margin of victory in 17 years, topping a 93-47 win over Appalachian State in 1986.
CUONZO IS NO STRANGER: Tennessee Head Coach Cuonzo Martin has one previous meeting with The Citadel during his coaching career, taking place on Nov. 21, 2009 when the Bulldogs went head-to-head to his Missouri State squad as part of a 2009 Hispanic College Fund Challenge. Martin's Missouri State team bested the Dogs by a 72-55 final, highlighted by Kyle Weems' 23-point performance.
Only two Bulldogs on the current roster, Bo Holston and Cosmo Morabbi, saw action in that contest. Morabbi finished with two points, both coming on a pair of free throws, in 22 minutes of play. Holston grabbed four rebounds, three on the defensive glass, and committed four turnovers in 12 minutes.
BULLDOGS HITTING CRITICAL FREE THROWS DOWN THE STRETCH: The Citadel has been involved in two games this season in which free throws were critical in the game's final outcome. The Bulldogs have converted 14-of-19 (73.7%) of their free throws when the game is within 10 points for either team in the final five minute stretch of the second half.
The Dogs came through with a 9-for-12 performance from the charity stripe in their nine-point victory over Army on Nov. 12. Two weeks later, High Point University earned an 80-72 home victory over The Citadel when they hit 12-of-18 free throws in the final five minutes of regulation and the overtime to complete the win.
|Game||The Citadel FTM-A||Opponent FTM-A|
|vs. Florida Christian||0-0||0-0|
|at High Point||5-7||12-18|
|at College of Charleston||0-0||0-0|
|vs. Coastal Carolina||0-0||0-0|
|vs. Charleston Southern||0-0||0-0|
|at James Madison||0-0||0-0|
|Totals||14-19 (.737)||18-26 (.692)|
SECOND HALF TEAM: After finishing with a 39-33 edge in second half scoring against the University of Denver, The Citadel has now managed 60 more points (408-348) after the intermission. The catalysts to the Bulldogs resurgence in the second half have been Mike Groselle (79 points) and DeVontae Wright (61 points). Groselle is hitting 60-percent (33-55) from the floor in the second half. That goes along with his 55 rebounds (23 offensive rebounds), which gives the Dogs a one-rebound advantage over the opposition.
As a team The Citadel has taken edged their opponents in total field goals (149-145), 3-point field goals (41-29), total rebounds (195-194), points (408-392) and committed fewer fouls (100-104) than their competition.
GROSELLE LEADS FOUR IN DOUBLE FIGURES IN HARD FOUGHT 70-58 LOSS TO PIONEERS: Mike Groselle scored a team-high 16 points to lead four Citadel players in double figures, but it was the University of Denver that came through with the 70-58 victory in front of 6,355 in attendance at Magness Arena on Thursday, Dec. 22. Groselle was joined offensively by teammates DeVontae Wright (15 points), Lawrence Miller (12 points) and Cosmo Morabbi (10 points).
The Citadel shot 23-of-46 (50%) from the field, knocking down a Pioneer opponent season-high nine 3-pointers that shattered the previous high of four, set by Southern Mississippi on Nov. 17, 2011. Miller led the way with four 3-pointers, tying a career-high that he set against VMI (Nov. 11) at the All-Military Classic. Wright closed the contest with three treys, while Morabbi and Ashton Moore each added one from downtown. Meanwhile Groselle hit 7-of-9 from the floor and hauled in a game-high eight rebounds, including three on the offensive glass, to give the Bulldogs a 22-12 edge in points in the paint and a 26-23 advantage in rebounds. The Cadets fall to 2-9 overall in the process.
The University of Denver (10-2) took advantage of a 21-of-45 (46.7%) shooting performance that included 12 conversions from beyond the arc. Chris Udofia led all scorers with 19 points and added seven rebounds, knocking down five field goals and finishing 9-of-10 from the charity stripe. Joining Udofia were Chase Hallam, Royce O'Neale and Brett Olson, who scored 10 points each. Olson capped off his performance with three 3-pointers and was one of six different Pioneer players hit a shot from beyond the arc. The Pioneers also took advantage of 15 Bulldog miscues to close with a 27-14 edge in points off turnovers.
PREVIEWING THE OPPOSITION: TENNESSEE (5-6)
TENNESSEE EDGES IN-STATE FOE EAST TENNESSEE STATE, 66-63: The Vols used an 11-0 run in the final minutes to rally for a 66-63 victory over East Tennessee State on Dec. 23. Junior Kenny Hall was a force on both ends of the floor with a block, dunk and steal to help UT to the win. He finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and two blocks for the Vols (5-6). Cameron Tatum led the Vols with 13 points, Skylar McBee added 12, on four 3-pointers and Trae Golden had 11 points and six assists. ETSU (5-6) was led by Adam Sollazzo (19 points) and Tommy Hubbard (18 points).
Down eight, the Vols made the go-ahead run as Hall and Golden keyed the comeback. Golden finished a 3-point play with 3:20 left to bring UT back to within one at 59-58. Then Hall blocked a shot, which was rebounded by Golden with 2:24 left. Hall put home a slam dunk with 1:58 left for the go-ahead baset, 60-59. Hall then stole the ball on ETSU's ensuing possession and Golden dunked one home with 1:22 left for a 62-59. Sollazzo scored to bring the Bucs back within one at 62-61. After missed 3-pointers on both ends of the floor. Jordan McRae rattled home two free throws with 17.7 left for a 64-61 lead.
Sollazzo made a lay-up with 8.8 seconds left to cut it to 64-63. Golden added two more free throws with 7.9 seconds left to make it 66-63 UT. The Vols made good use of having fouls to give down the stretch as they were able to thwart several Buccaneer scoring chances with fouls. Sollazzo hoisted up a 3-pointer with a second left than clanged off the front rim as the Vols won their second game in a row.
After UT took a lead of 44-41, the Buccaneers outscored the Vols 18-7 over a nine-minute span to lead 59-51 with 5:30 left in regulation.
The Vols took their first lead on a fastbreak 3-pointer by McBee off a sweet feed from Wes Washpun with 14:30 left in the game, 42-41. Jeronne Maymon followed with a fastbreak slam dunk forcing ETSU to call timeout to end UT's 7-0 run. The Bucs responded by scoring nine of the game's next 11 points to regain the advantage, 50-46, as Sheldon Cooley canned two jumpshots including a 3-pointer.
Tatum tied the game for the first time at 29 all on his third 3-pointer of the half with two minutes left in the first stanza. ETSU scored the half's final four points to lead 33-29 at intermission behind Hubbard's 14 first-half points.
Down by as many as 11, the Vols cut the deficit to two (26-24) on a trio of 3-pointers: two by Tatum one and Jordan McRae with 5:38 left in the first half.
ETSU maintained a 10-point lead midway though the first half after a Marcus Dubose 3-pointer to give the Bucs a 23-13 lead.
The Vols fell behind 14-4 to start the game as Hubbard scored nine in the early spurt which covered the first five minutes of the game.