Bulldogs, Paladins Renew Historic Rivalry
The Citadel at Furman Game Notes
Charleston, S.C.— Fresh off a victory in their final non-conference game of the 2011-12 season, The Citadel Basketball team returns to Southern Conference action when they head to Furman on Thursday evening. The 196th all-time meeting between the two South Carolina institutions is set for 7 p.m. at Timmons Arena. The Bulldogs (3-10, 0-2 SoCon) are looking to snap a three-game losing streak at the hands of the Paladins, which dates back to the 2009-10 season, and in the process earn their first win in conference play this season.
SOLID SENIOR LEADERSHIP: Lone Bulldog senior Cosmo Morabbi has scored in double figures in two of his last three contests, including a career-high 17 point performance against UVA-Wise on Monday night. Morabbi is responsible for 34 points (11.3 ppg.) in his last three contests, which can attributed to his 4-of-7 (57.1%) performance from 3-point range. Also important for the Bulldogs is that Morabbi has dished out six of the teams 39 assists in those three contests.
A solid defender, Morabbi is responsible for four steals since a meeting with the University of Denver along with six rebounds. His defensive prowess on the court has earned the senior 86 minutes in a three-game span.
FIRST FRESHMAN EVER: Ashton Moore became the first Citadel freshman, since 1972-73 when the NCAA passed legislation to unilaterally grant freshman eligibility, to score 30 points in their rookie season. Moore is the third player in the Southern Conference this season to reach the milestone, following the likes of Brandon Boggs (Western Carolina), who scored 25 against Northern Colorado on Nov. 25 and Trevis Simpson (UNC Greensboro), whose 36 points led the way for the Spartans against Miami, also on Jan. 2. Moore is the first SoCon freshman since Simpson to score 30 points in a game, who accomplished the feat with a 33-point outing against Davidson on Jan. 17, 2011 at the Greensboro Coliseum.
CHART BUSTER: On Monday, The Citadel's Mike Groselle laid claim to his third double-double in the last month, when he posted 19 points and 13 rebounds against UVA-Wise. Groselle, who has eight double-doubles this season, tied Craig Burgess and Matt Newman for third place on the Dogs career double-doubles list. The Plano, Texas native is now three behind J'Mel Everhart (19) for second place and six short of Regan Truesdale (22) for most in program history.
Before his performance against UVA-Wise, Groselle registered a pair of December double dips against College of Charleston (19 pts., 10 rebs.) and James Madison (11 pts., 11 rebs.). The Plano, Texas junior rattled off six straight double-doubles to open the season, starting with a 25-point, 11 rebounds outing in the season-opener against VMI at the All-Military Classic. Less than 24 hours later, Groselle posted 16 points and 10 rebounds in an 83-72 comeback victory over Army. Groselle extended the streak to three straight when he finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds against Clemson on Nov. 16. He established a new program record by notching five straight double-doubles, dating back to a 12-point, 12-rebound outing at the 2011 SoCon Tournament, against Florida Christian when he scored 19 points and added 11 rebounds. On Nov. 26th, in a game with High Point, Groselle scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to extend the streak to six straight.
WRIGHT MOVES: Point guard DeVontae Wright has given the Bulldogs a solid scoring threat since the first Southern Conference game of the season against College of Charleston on Dec. 1.
Wright, who has logged the second most minutes (220) of any Bulldog over the course of the last month, has come through with 80 points and 24 rebounds in that span. The Goose Creek, S.C. native is tied for second-most 3-point field goal conversions (11) on the team, trailing only Ashton Moore, who has 13. Wright has been successful on 30-of-69 (43.5%) field goal attempts and dished out 17 assists in the eight-game stretch. He has eclipsed the double-digit mark in five games since a meeting with Wofford on Dec. 3. He scored 10 points against the Terriers and followed with a 10-point outing three days later against Coastal Carolina. In the Dogs final home appearance of December, against crosstown foe Charleston Southern, Wright scored 11 points on 5-of-11 shooting. His most recent double figure affairs came against James Madison (15 points) and UVA-Wise (13 points).
The sophomore guard is one of only two players on the roster to start in all 13 games this season, Mike Groselle the other, after a freshman season in which he saw action in 26 games as a reserve to Cameron Wells.
MOORE POURS IN CAREER-HIGH 30 POINTS AS BULLDOGS WIN 91-74 OVER UVA-WISE: Citadel freshman Ashton Moore poured in a game-high 30 points as the Bulldogs snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 91-74 victory over UVA-Wise at McAlister Field House on Monday evening. Moore became the first Cadet to net 30 points in a contest since Cameron Wells accomplished the feat on Feb. 12, 2009 against Appalachian State. Teammate Mike Groselle further embedded himself in Citadel history with a 19-point, 13-rebound performance to tie Matt Newman and Craig Burgess for third place with 16 career double-doubles.
The Bulldogs had their fifth 50% shooting performance of the season, hitting 33-of-63 (52.4%) from the field. The Citadel found its shooting touch from beyond the arc, knocking down 7-of-16 (43.8%) attempts, paced by Moore's 3-of-4 performance. In total, four Cadets reached double figures, including Cosmo Morabbi, who set a new career-high with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Backcourt teammate DeVontae Wright rounded out double-digit scorers with 13 points. The Dogs hit the third most free throws (18) in a game this season, while outmuscling UVA-Wise 37-24 on the glass. The victory moves The Citadel to 3-10 on the campaign.
Travis Berry led the way for UVA-Wise with 20 points, hitting 6-of-16 from the field and one 3-pointer in the process, as the Cavaliers managed to hit 27-of-53 (50.9%) from the floor. Josh Jordan (15 points) and Jermaine Wright (14 points) also posted solid outings, as UVA-Wise took advantage of 13 transition points to hang tough with the Dogs. Berry, who finished 7-of-8 from the free throw line, paced a Cavaliers unit that was successful on 16-of-24 (66.7%) attempts.
PREVIEWING THE COMPETITION: Furman (6-7)
UNC WILMINGTON EXTENDS FURMAN LOSING STREAK TO THREE: Freshman Adam Smith poured in 20 points and UNC Wilmington buried 8-of-14 chances from three-point range to down Furman, 72-61, in the final non-conference contest of the season for the Paladins on Dec. 30 at Trask Coliseum.
Furman, playing its final game of a four-game road trip, dropped to 6-7 on the season with its third consecutive defeat while the Seahawks improved to 4-7 on the year with a victory in the first ever meeting between the schools.
The Paladins fashioned a 15-8 lead on back-to-back baskets from Chris Toler and a Jordan Loyd bucket at the 12:53 mark before the Seahawks took control by outscoring Furman 32-10 over the remainder of the half to carry a 40-25 lead into intermission. Smith drained four first-half treys to score 18 of his 20 points in the opening 20 minutes as UNCW shot 7-of-11 beyond the arc in the period.
Senior Brandon Sebirumbi scored five points in the opening four minutes of the second half to help Furman trim the Seahawk lead to 46-34 with 16:00 to play, but UNCW answered with an 8-0 run to push its advantage to 54-34 on a pair of Trevor Deloach free throws with 12:35 remaining. The Paladins pulled with 12 points on three more occasions, but were unable to get any closer until David Brown buried a three-pointer with less than four second left for the final 11-point margin.
UNCW shot 48.3% from the field, including 57.1% from three-point range and committed just six turnovers on the night. The Seahawks outscored Furman 34-26 in the paint and converted 12 Furman turnovers into 13 points.
Tanner Milson joined Smith in double figures with 11 points while Keith Rendlemen netted nine points and grabbed seven rebounds. KK Simmons connected on 3-of-4 three-point attempts to add nine points.
Bryant Irwin and Charlie Reddick tallied 11 points apiece to lead four Paladins in double figures. Sebirumbi registered 10 points while Colin Reddick finished with 10 points and seven boards to match his brother for team-high rebounding honors.
Furman shot just 33.8% from the floor and connected on only 6-of-26 triples. The Paladins managed a 46-35 rebounding edge and converted on 11-of-15 trips to the foul line.
For more information on Bulldog Basketball, visit the official website of The Citadel Athletics at www.CitadelSports.com.