Groselle Records 13th Double-Double of Season in Tough 70-53 Loss at Western Carolina
Cullowhee, N.C. – Mike Groselle notched a team-high 17 points to go along with 10 rebounds and Lawrence Miller added 14 points off the bench, but The Citadel was unable to match Western Carolina's offensive firepower, who emerged with a 70-53 victory at the Ramsey Center on Thursday evening.
Groselle's 13th double-double of the season breaks the previous single-season record held by Patrick Elmore, who finished with 12 in 1989-90 season. He also moves within one of Regan Truesdale's school record 22 career double-doubles. The Bulldogs (4-22, 1-14 SoCon) finished by hitting 19-of-50 (38.0%) from the field, including a 6-of-16 performance from 3-point range. While Groselle finished 6-of-9 from the field, Miller led the team by hitting 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Also with solid outings for the Dogs were Jordan Robertson (six points), DeVontae Wright (five points) and Marshall Harris III (five points). That trio, along with Miller, gave the Cadets a 23-10 advantage in bench points.
Western Carolina was paced by Harouna Mutombo, who poured in 24 points, and Keaton Cole who finished with 15 points. Mutombo shot 9-of-17 from the field, converting one 3-pointer, while adding seven rebounds. Meanwhile, Cole was 5-of-13, all from long range, to go along with three steals. Teammate Tawaski King recorded a career-high 15 rebounds, snagging 12 on the defensive glass. In total, WCU managed 55 rebounds (28 offensive), making for a 22-6 edge in second chance points.
Entering the second half with a 13-point advantage, Western Carolina scored seven of the first 12 points to establish a 43-28 lead. Mutombo accounted for five of the seven points, including a jumper at the 17:41 mark.
Despite a series of points from Groselle, WCU took advantage of buckets by Trey Sumler and Kenneth Hall to push the lead to 18.
Four points from Groselle and a key transition 3-pointer by Wright, over a brief four minute stretch, brought The Citadel within 53-42 of the Catamounts with 11:10 remaining in the half.
However, WCU once again found its offensive rhythm by scoring nine of the game's next 14 points, to move in from 62-47. Sumler capped off the run with a 3-pointer from the corner on a pass from Mutombo.
The lead dipped under 15 points on only one other occasion over the final 5:41 of the contest, as Western Carolina earned its seventh victory at the Ramsey Center this season.
The Citadel struggled in the opening frame, hitting 7-of-25 (28%) from the floor, including just three from beyond the arc. Groselle led all Bulldogs in scoring, managing seven points on 2-of-4 from the floor knocking down all three free throw attempts. Teammate Lawrence Miller provided a lift off the bench with six points, draining a pair of 3-pointers, while Harris III finished with five. The key for The Citadel was free throws, as they hit 6-of-7 (85.7%) due to eight fouls by the Catamounts.
The tandem of Mutombo and Cole scored 12 points apiece to lead a Western Carolina lineup that hit 14-of-35 (40%) from the floor. Mutombo hit 4-of-8 from the floor and tied for a team-high four rebounds, while Cole recorded all 12 points by knocking down 4-of-9 from 3-point range. The Catamounts pulled down 23 total rebounds, including 10 on the offensive glass. The 'Cats took advantage of those 10 offensive rebounds by closing with a 9-3 edge in second chance points. WCU also forced 10 Citadel turnovers to finish with a 14-7 advantage in points off turnovers.
The scoring combination of Mutombo and Cole scored 11 of the first 13 points of the contest, as Western Carolina opened a 13-2 lead at the 16:39 mark.
Groselle quickly answered for the Dogs and after a missed jumper on the defensive end, Miller converted a DeVontae Wright pass to pull The Citadel within 13-7 of the lead. Just over a minute later Cosmo Morabbi found Miller at the top of the key for a second Bulldog 3-pointer, trimming the Catamount advantage to three.
Western Carolina took advantage of scores by four different players to put together an 8-3 run over the next 5:22 of the frame. Among the scores included a breakaway dunk by Brandon Boggs, as the Catamounts built a 21-13 lead with just under eight minutes remaining.
The Citadel turned to its inside game, resulting in points from Holston and Groselle and putting themselves within nine, 25-16.
Five straight points by Western Carolina, all off the hand of Mutombo, made for a score of 30-16 with 3:24 remaining.
Harris III answered the challenge by scoring five of The Citadel's final seven points of the half, including a long range 3-pointer, as the Cadets trailed 36-23 at the intermission.
The Citadel returns to action on Saturday evening when they square off against North Division foe Chattanooga at 7 p.m. For more information on Bulldog basketball, find us on Facebook or visit the official website of The Citadel Athletics, www.citadelsports.com.