Groselle Registers Third Straight 20-point outing in 78-72 Double Overtime Downing at Georgia Southern
Statesboro, Ga.— Led by Mike Groselle's 10th double-double of the season, 20 points and 14 rebounds, The Citadel extended Georgia Southern to double overtime before the Eagles emerged with a 78-72 victory at Hanner Fieldhouse on Monday evening. Groselle's performance marked the third straight 20-point outing and fourth in his last five games. Coincedentally he has now recorded 18 career double-doubles and 10 in the 2011-12 campaign, moving within two of Patrick Elmore (1989-90) for most in a single-season in program history.
The Citadel (4-15, 1-7 SoCon) battled through the fatigue of the contest with eight players, closed by hitting 31-of-57 (54.4%) from the floor and 4-of-18 (22.2%) from beyond the arc. Joining Groselle in double figures points was Marshall Harris III, who established a new career-high with 14 points. Groselle finished 8-of-13 from the floor, while Harris III knocked down 6-of-8 from the perimeter along with two of 3-pointers. Also coming through with solid outings were Lawrence Miller and Bo Holston, scoring nine points each, and Cosmo Morabbi who tallied eight. Groselle controlled the paint with 14 rebounds (11 defensive), as the Dogs finished with a 32-29 edge on the glass.
Willie Powers' III 19 points and eight assists led Georgia Southern in scoring, as he was followed closely by Ben Drayton III (18 pts.) and Cameron Baskerville (11 pts.). Powers overcame a 4-of-10 night from the floor by hitting 11-of-12 from the charity stripe, keying a Eagles unit that closed 24-of-31 (77.4%) from the line in the game. Meanwhile, Eric Ferguson hauled in a team-high nine rebounds, responsible for eight on the defensive boards. GSU finished 25-of-53 (47.2%) from the floor, managing 4-of-14 (28.6%) from 3-point range. Georgia Southern improves to 8-11 overall and 6-3 in the SoCon following the victory.
Scoring was at a premium in the first overtime as each unit scored just four points to make for a 64-64 tie and the first Citadel double overtime since Jan. 12, 2002 against Western Carolina.
Georgia Southern took advantage of seven Citadel fouls in the second overtime session, hitting 12-of-14 from the free throw line, led by Powers who closed with seven conversions. Drayton III added four points from the line and another two on a layup as the Eagles closed out the 78-72 victory.
The Citadel fell behind 29-24 to start off the second half but mounted a charge behind a series of points from Morrabi and Holston to draw even at 29 at the 15:55 mark.
The two teams traded jabs over the next 2:22 before five points off the hand of Jessie Pernell gave GSU a 40-34 advantage with 12:45 remaining.
The Dogs answered responded with back-to-back 3-pointers by Harris III, drawing even at 40, just over a minute later.
Energized by four points from Groselle and three by Miller, The Citadel put together a 9-4 run to jump ahead 49-44 with 7:18 in the second half.
Four points each by Drayton III and Baskerville drew the game to a 51-51 tie with 5:48 remaining. With neither team leading by more than two down the final stretch, a key 3-pointer by DeVontae Wright knotted the game at 58-58 with 25 seconds left. Trailing by two with five seconds on the clock it was the Cadets Harris III who went coast-to-coast to send the game into overtime at 60-60.
For the fourth time this season and the second time in the last five games, The Citadel hit better than 57 percent in the first half, knocking down 12-of-21 (57.1%) from the floor as they trailed host Georgia Southern by three points at the intermission. The Bulldogs were led offensively by the trio of Groselle, Miller and Morabbi, who scored six points apiece. All three players hit three field goals, as the Bulldogs were held without a 3-pointer in the first half. Groselle and Morabbi added four rebounds, respectively, as the Dogs finished with a slight 18-16 edge in points in the paint.
Georgia Southern countered with a 12-of-23 (52.2%) performance, also with no conversions from beyond the arc. The tandem of Baskerville and Drayton shared high scoring honors for the Eagles with six points. Meanwhile, Kameron Dunnican and Ferguson grabbed two rebounds each to anchor the GSU post-game. The Eagles took advantage of all three attempts from the free throw line, finishing perfect in the first half.
After falling behind 6-2 in the early stages of the contest, a pair of scores by Groselle and Bray drew the Bulldogs even, 6-6, at the 15:35 mark. The two teams traded baskets and endured three ties before deadlocking at 12-12 on a jumper by Morabbi.
After falling behind by two on a Drayton jumper, The Citadel turned to freshman Lawrence Miller who singlehandedly scored the next six straight points, including a crossover against the Georgia Southern defender, to run in front 18-14 with 7:38 on the clock.
Taking advantage of stops on the defensive end and a jumper by Wright, The Citadel clung to a 20-19 advantage with 5:53 remaining in the half. After a steal by Morabbi, the Cadets answered with a layup by Harris III to push the lead to three, one shy of their largest lead of the half.
Powers answered for GSU when he found Baskerville in the post for a dunk, shifting the momentum in favor of the Eagles, who went on an 8-2 run to close the half. Georgia Southern took a 27-24 lead into the intermission.
The Citadel returns home to McAlister Field House on Jan. 26 for the first game of a two-game homestand against Wofford. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m. The Bulldogs will honor Jake Burrows ('40) by hanging his number three banner in the rafters alongside Art Musselman, Les Robinson and Regan Truesdale. Two nights later the team meets Furman, at 7:05 p.m.
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