Groselle Scores Game-High 21 in Bulldogs 86-55 Downing at Tennessee
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.— Mike Groselle netted a game-high 21 points to go along with eight rebounds, but it was the University of Tennessee that came away with a 86-55 victory in front of 16,245 in attendance at Thompson-Boiling Arena on Thursday evening. Groselle, who reach the 20-point plateau for the fifth time in his Bulldog career, became just the fifth player this season to score 20 points or more against the Volunteers.
The Citadel was successful on 22-of-56 (39.3%) field goal attempts, including four from beyond the arc, led by Groselle who finished 8-of-15 from the field. The Dogs grabbed 27 rebounds, including 12 on the offensive glass, accounting for eight second chance points. Joining Groselle among individual leaders were DeVontae Wright (8 points), C.J. Bray (7 points) and Cosmo Morabbi (7 points). The loss drops the Cadets to 2-10 on the season as they complete a three-game road stretch.
Tennessee, which shot better than 50-percent in each period, closed 33-of-59 (55.9%) from the floor and knocked down 9-of-22 (40.9%) from 3-point range. Yemi Makanjuola led four Vols in double figures with a career-high 18 points. Teammates Skylar McBee (12 points), Trae Golden (10 points) and Renaldo Woolridge (10 points) joined Makanjuola among double-digit performers. Makanjuola completed his double-double performance with 11 rebounds, giving the Vols a 40-27 edge on the boards as UT outscored the Dogs 42-22 in the paint. The Volunteers improved to 6-6 overall and earned their fifth win at home.
Trailing 40-25 at the intermission, The Citadel opened with a flurry of points in the second half from Wright and Morabbi to cut the margin to 42-30 in less than a minute. Tennessee reacted with a 13-2 run over the next 4:45 of the half, highlighted by 3-pointers from Golden, Woolridge and Jordan McRae to extend its lead to 55-32.
Buckets by Groselle kept the Cadets within 21 points, but hot shooting by Volunteers made the score 60-38 on a free throw by Woolridge. Tennessee's offense then became a one-man show, as Makanjuola scored the next 18 straight UT points. The Citadel countered with four points each from the tandem of Groselle and Bray, but it was not enough as UT lead 78-48 behind Makanjuola.
The Citadel managed seven points of offense over the final 2:31 of the contest, capitalizing on three points each from Groselle and teammate Barry Smith, while Will Keistler netted his first collegiate point from the free throw line. Tennessee completed the 86-55 win with a final bucket by reserve guard Galen Campbell.
The Citadel finished the opening frame by hitting 10-of-27 (37.0%) from the field, knocking down three from beyond the arc, as the team trailed 40-25 at the intermission. Groselle led all Citadel scorers with eight points and Wright drained a pair of 3-pointers to finish the first half with six. The Dogs grabbed 15 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass, however were riddled with 10 turnovers that led to 10 Volunteer points.
Tennessee took advantage of scoring both in the paint (18 points) as well as five 3-pointers, finishing 16-of-27 (59.3%) from the floor. The Vols were led by the backcourt combination of McBee (12 points) and Golden (8 points). Golden was the team's leading rebounder at the break, posting four rebounds as UT held a slight 15-13 edge on the boards.
The Bulldogs managed just two points over the first 3:09 of the game, following a jumper by Morabbi, as the Volunteers established a 7-2 lead. The Citadel came ended a brief drought with back-to-back buckets in the post by Groselle and Jordan Robertson to trim the lead to 7-6.
Tennessee again jumped ahead by five, 11-6, on a pair of scores by Golden and Tatum before a Bray 3-pointer again put the Cadets within one bucket.
Consecutive scores by Groselle and Wright kept the Bulldogs within two before a pair of 3-pointers by McBee stretched the Vols lead to 22-14 at the 7:25 mark.
Wright converted his second long range shot of the half, drawing The Citadel within 22-17 of the lead, before UT put together a 9-0 run to jump ahead 31-17. The run took 2:24 off the clock and consisted of three layups before being capped off by a 3-pointer by Cameron Tatum.
Groselle ended a Citadel scoring drought with a layup on a pass from Robertson and followed on the ensuing possession with the only Bulldog free throws of the frame, making for a 33-21 Tennessee lead.
The Vols closed out the final 1:55 of the first half by scoring seven of the final eleven points, with Ashton Moore accounting for the lone Citadel buckets, to head into the break with a 15-point advantage.
The Citadel returns to McAlister Field House for a brief one-game stint when the Dogs host UVA-Wise on January 2 at 7:05 p.m. The game marks the final non-conference opponent of the year for the Bulldogs before beginning Southern Conference play. For more information on Bulldog Basketball, visit the official website of The Citadel Athletics at www.CitadelSports.com.