Chattanooga, Tenn. – Marshall Harris III converted the go-ahead 3-pointer with less than two minutes to go as The Citadel ended a 13-game road losing streak with a 48-46 victory at Chattanooga on Saturday evening.
The Citadel's Lawrence Miller scored a game-high 15 points, along the way tying a career-high with five 3-pointers, as the Bulldogs improved to 5-22 overall and 2-14 in the Southern Conference. Miller led the Cadets to a 10-of-21 (47.6%) outing from beyond the arc, joined by Harris III (2-4) and DeVontae Wright (2-3) with multiple treys. The duo of Mike Groselle and Harris III added eight points each for the Bulldogs, while DeVontae Wright came off the bench to score six points, as The Citadel hit 18-of-40 (45%) from the field. Groselle posted a team-high 15 rebounds, pulling down 11 on the defensive end, as the Dogs edged Chattanooga 31-29 on the glass.
Dontay Hampton led Chattanooga with 12 points off the bench, while Drazen Zlovaric chipped in 11, keying an offense that hit 17-of-53 (32.1%) from the floor. Hampton finished 4-of-7 from the field and was the only UTC player to knock down a multiple 3-pointers. Zlovaric capped off his 11 point performance by hitting 4-of-6 from the field and six rebounds. Jahmal Burroughs led the way for the Mocs with seven rebounds, pulling down three on the offensive glass. Chattanooga (10-19, 4-12 SoCon) had a 26-16 edge in points in the paint and a slim 10-7 advantage in points off turnovers.
Trailing by one point at the intermission, The Citadel battled to a 33-33 tie by outscoring Chattanooga 8-7 over the first 7:27 of the second half. The offensive firepower came from four different sources, including a Wright 3-pointer on a pass from Harris III.
Chattanooga responded by holding The Citadel scoreless for the next 5:39 of the contest, scoring five unanswered points in the process to move in front 38-33.
Wright found Miller in front of The Citadel bench to move within two points of the Mocs. Chattanooga scored the next five straight points, including a trey by Hampton, forcing Bulldogs Head Coach Chuck Driesell to take a 30-second timeout trailing 43-36.
Miller found teammate C.J. Bray for an up-and-under bucket out of the timeout to pull the Dogs within five. After a missed jumper by Ricky Taylor, Miller dished the ball to Groselle for a layup that trimmed the margin to three points with 5:09 remaining.
After a missed jumper by Hampton on Chattanooga's end, Miller tied the game at 43-43 with just over four minutes left in the contest.
The two teams remained deadlocked before an Omar Wattad free throw at the 2:16 mark gave UTC a 44-43 edge.
Immediately following the free throw conversion, Harris III stroked a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give The Citadel a lead it would not relinquish. After Wattad failed to convert a 3-pointer on Chattanooga's possession, Groselle answered with a layup to push the lead to 48-44 with just under a minute remaining.
Chattanooga came out of their final timeout with a layup by Ronrico White, moving within two of the lead. After a turnover on the baseline gave the Mocs the ball back with 15 seconds, a pair of Keegan Bell 3-pointer's rimmed out to give The Citadel its victory. The win snapped an 11-game losing streak as the Bulldogs head to McAlister Field House for the final homestand of the season.
Miller capped off a solid first half performance by hitting 3-of-5 from the field, all from beyond the arc, led all scorers at the break with nine points. Holston led the way for Bulldog starters with five points, knocking down a pair of shots, including a 3-pointer. The Citadel finished 9-of-20 (45%) from the floor and managed 6-of-11 (54.5%) from long range. Groselle hauled in six rebounds for the Cadets, grabbing five on the defensive glass as the team posted 11 total boards.
Meanwhile, Zlovaric scored six points to lead the Mocs offensively. Chattanooga also got five points apiece from Burroughs and Hampton. As a unit, UTC hit 10-of-27 (37%) from the field, however struggled from 3-point range, hitting just 2-of-11 (18.2%). The biggest difference for the Mocs came in offensive rebounds, 8-2, as they outscored the Bulldogs 16-6 in the paint.
After falling behind early on a Bell 3-pointer, The Citadel turned to Groselle for its first points of the game. With defensive pressure at midcourt, Jordan Robertson capitalized on a steal and subsequent layup to give the Dogs an early 4-3 lead.
With the game knotted at 7-7 with 15:01 on the clock, Groselle found Wright at the top of the key for a 3-pointer and a 10-7 Citadel lead.
Just over four minutes later it was Miller that found his range, converting a Wright pass for three points as The Citadel lead grew to 13-9. Burroughs answered with a free throw for Chattanooga, moving the Mocs into double figures, only to be followed with a second Miller trey for the 16-10 advantage.
The Mocs scored the next six unanswered points, including a pair of layups, tying the contest at 16-16 with 5:08 remaining.
Marshall Harris III broke the tie with the Dogs fifth 3-pointer of the frame, giving the Cadets a 19-16 cushion.
A layup by Holston and a 3-pointer off the hand of Miller tied for the largest Citadel lead of the first half, 24-18, with just 1:45 remaining.
Chattanooga closed out the half on an 8-1 run, including a Hampton 3-pointer as time expired, to give the Mocs a slim 26-25 lead at the intermission.
The Citadel returns to McAlister Field House for the final regular season games of the season against Appalachian State and College of Charleston. For more information on Bulldog basketball, find us on Facebook or visit the official website of The Citadel Athletics, www.citadelsports.com.