Groselle Scores 21 Points in Dogs 68-56 Loss to Western Carolina at SoCon Tournament
Asheville, N.C. – Mike Groselle registered a team-high 21 points and snagged six rebounds, but it was Western Carolina that came away with the 68-56 victory in first round action of the 2012 Southern Conference Tournament.
Groselle, the lone double figure scorer for the Bulldogs, finished 8-of-14 from the floor and 5-of-9 from the free throw line. In addition to his tenth 20-point performance, Groselle also tacked on six rebounds, hauling in a pair on the offensive glass. DeVontae Wright added nine points, also finishing with six rebounds, while fellow starter Jordan Robertson tallied seven points. The Citadel hit 22-of-42 (52.4%) from the floor, marking the second time in the last three games that the team hit better than 50 percent from the field. The Dogs finish 6-24 on the season following the loss.
Western Carolina (15-17) advances to the second round to meet two-time defending tournament champion Wofford after hitting 23-for-48 (47.9%) from the floor. The Catamounts were successful on 12-of-27 (44.4%) from beyond the arc, led by the tandem of Keaton Cole (4-11) and Trey Sumler (4-6). However, Haouna Mutombo led WCU in scoring with 21 points, following a 6-of-12 outing from the field. Sumler added 18 points and Cole also reached double figures by scoring 14. Tawaski King anchored the middle for the Cats with six rebounds, while Mutombo added five.
Working with a seven point lead at the half, Western Carolina opened on a 7-2 run that included four points by Mutombo to assume a 31-19 advantage.
Five straight points by Wright and a layup by Groselle energized the Dogs, who moved within five points, 31-26, with 15:28 remaining.
The Citadel continued to make an offensive charge, taking advantage of a 3-pointer by C.J. Bray, to make for a 37-32 WCU advantage.
Western Carolina avenged The Citadel run with a series of 3-pointers by Cole, Sumler and Brandon Boggs over a 1:03 stretch to take a 46-34 lead.
Despite a layup and subsequent free throw by Groselle and a long range shot by Lawrence Miller, Western Carolina kept the distance at double figures for a good part of three minutes.
Six points by Groselle over the next 2:16 of the contest made for one final Citadel push to put the lead into single digits, 55-46. However, a 3-pointer by Sumler and a free throw by Preston Ross gave Western Carolina a double figure lead at the 3:31 mark.
Four points by Wright and two each from Miller and senior Cosmo Morabbi were not enough to complete the Bulldogs comeback, as Western Carolina took advantage of three points by Mutombo to win 68-56.
Physicality defined the first half of play for The Citadel, who finished 7-of-19 (36.8%) from the floor. The Bulldogs banged out 12 points in the paint, keyed by five points each from the combination of Groselle and Robertson. The tandem, along with DeVontae Wright, also came through with three rebounds to provide a 17-15 edge on the glass. Reserve Ashton Moore scored five points, including the Cadets lone 3-pointer, for a 7-0 advantage in points off the bench.
Western Carolina countered with an outside game that generated seven 3-pointers, knocking down 8-of-25 (32%) from long range. The Catamounts were sparked offensively by Cole, Sumler and Mutombo, who closed the first half with a pair of treys each. King climbed the boards for six rebounds, including four on the defensive glass, as WCU finished with a 7-0 edge in second chance points.
Groselle put The Citadel on the board early before a pair of 3-pointers off the hand of Mutombo and Cole gave Western Carolina the 6-2 lead at the 16:48 mark.
The Catamount lead ballooned to 12-4 before Moore hit a driving jumper from the free throw line to cut the deficit in half. Just under two minutes later Wright found Moore in the corner, which led to a 3-pointer, to cap off a 6-0 run and in the process pull the Dogs within two.
WCU held the Bulldogs to just two points over the course of the next 7:35 of the half, while capitalizing on a 3-pointer by Sumler and their first two-point bucket, which came on a layup by Mutombo.
Trailing 21-12, Robertson drew a foul from Cole to make for an eight point deficit. He followed with a layup with just under two minutes on the clock to pull the Dogs back within six.
Groselle closed out first half scoring for The Citadel with a layup past Tawaski King that was answered with a 3-pointer by Boggs as Western Carolina established a 24-17 lead at the intermission.
For more information on Bulldog basketball, visit the official website of The Citadel Athletics at www.CitadelSports.com.