Citadel, Georgia Southern Renew Rivalry on Saturday Evening
STATESBORO, Ga. — The Citadel basketball team, playing in its fifth Southern Conference contest in nine days, heads to South Division rival Georgia Southern on Saturday for a 7:00 p.m. meeting at Hanner Fieldhouse.
The Citadel (3-13, 0-6 SoCon) is seeking its 20th victory in the all-time series against Georgia Southern after dropping a series of overtime contests during the 2011-12 season.
Meanwhile, Georgia Southern (8-10, 2-3) will be looking to extend its two-game winning streak that includes victories over Davidson and the College of Charleston. A win would also give the Eagles their fourth straight home victory over The Citadel.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE DROUGHT: Since his 25th career double-double on Dec. 15 against Gardner-Webb, center Mike Groslle has topped double figures in points on just four occasions and grabbed double-digit rebounds against only Samford, when he finished with 11. The eight-game stretch marks the longest of his career that Groselle has gone without posting a double-double since becoming a full-time starter against Colorado (Jan. 13, 2011).
Earlier this season Groselle broke the program record for most career double-doubles, a mark previously held by Citadel Hall of Famer Regan Truesdale, who finished with 22 from 1981-85. Groselle has posted more than one double-double against seven different opponents including College of Charleston (3), Clemson (2), Elon (2), Furman (2), Georgia Southern (2), VMI (2) and Western Carolina (2).
ANALYZING THE CITADEL-GEORGIA SOUTHERN RIVALRY
• The Citadel has appeared in 74 overtime games in its 102-year program history, dating back to the 1918-19 season, compiling a 35-39 record in those contests. Four of those games have come against Georgia Southern, which includes a pair of 2011-12 thrillers at GSU (78-72, 2 OT) and at McAlister Field House (73-72 OT), both that went the way of the Eagles. Until those setbacks, The Citadel had never lost overtime games to the same team in a single season.
• Since Chuck Driesell's arrival in 2010-11, The Citadel has won two games, both by double-digits, against Georgia Southern. Among those include Driesell's first-ever Southern Conference victory, 68-43, at McAlister Field House. The second victory came nearly one year later, Dec. 5, 2011, when the Bulldogs downed Georgia Southern 65-52, again at home. In the six games between the two squads the average margin of victory is 10 points per game.
• The Citadel has hit better than 50% from the field in the first half in three of the last four meetings with Georgia Southern. The trend began with a 56.7% (17-30) performance on Dec. 2, 2010, and was followed by a 54.5% (12-22) outing on Feb. 19, 2011. The streak reached three straight when the Bulldogs hit 57.1% (12-21) at Hanner Fieldhouse on Jan. 23, 2012, before coming to an end with a 44.8% (13-29) showing on Feb. 11, 2012.
These hot starts have allowed the Cadets to total 24 or more field goals in three contests. Among those include 31 field goals (Jan. 23), 28 (Dec. 2) and 24 (Feb. 11, 2012).
• Citadel senior center Mike Groselle has cleared the glass for at least two offensive rebounds in four career meetings with Georgia Southern.
STATISTICAL STREAKS AND TRENDS
• Matt Van Scyoc has totaled seven blocks in three of the last four games for The Citadel. He began the streak with a two-block performance against Chattanooga on Jan. 10 and followed with a pair of blocks against Samford on Jan. 12. On Monday, in a solid defensive effort against College of Charleston, Van Scyoc swatted three Cougar shot attempts and tied Mike Groselle for game-high honors.
• In six of seven contests since the Bulldogs opened the new year against Clemson, Marshall Harris III has dished out at least three assists. Harris started off the year with four against the Tigers and before handing out three (Western Carolina) and five (Chattanooga). Prior to the meeting with Davidson, where he was limited to one assist, Harris was responsible for seven assists apiece against Samford and College of Charleston.
• In The Citadel's last five games, reserve point guard Janeil Jenkins has logged 45 minutes and in that time has handed out eight assists while committing just four turnovers, creating an assist-turnover ratio of two in that span.
• The inside duo of Stephen Elmore and Mike Groselle have combined for 86 rebounds since The Citadel faced Georgia Tech (Dec. 22). Against the Yellow Jackets Elmore grabbed 10 boards, the second most for him this season, and has since followed with two six-rebound games against Chattanooga and College of Charleston. Meanwhile, Groselle has posted 49 rebounds since grabbing seven at Georgia Tech. His high mark during this span came against Samford when he snagged 11.
• Sophomore P.J. Horgan has been a sound addition to The Citadel lineup since sacrificing his redshirt prior to the Jan. 5 meeting with Western Carolina. Horgan has finished with at least two rebounds in the last five games. His best single-game performance during the stretch came against the Catamounts, when he grabbed eight boards (four offensive).
The Albuquerque, N.M., native has left his mark on The Citadel's offensive numbers as well, connecting on 14-of-22 (63.6%) field goals and knocking down 6-of-8 (75%) from the free throw line. Those numbers have resulted in a pair of double-digit outings against Western Carolina (10 points) and Samford (11).
BREAKING DOWN GEORGIA SOUTHERN (8-10 Overall / 2-3 SoCon)
GEORGIA SOUTHERN WINS SECOND STRAIGHT SoCON GAME FOLLOWING 51-47 TRIUMPH OVER CofC: Georgia Southern tallied its second-straight SoCon win with a 51-47 victory over College of Charleston at Hanner Fieldhouse. The teams traded the lead 13 times on the night, but by out-scoring Charleston 11-3 in the final minute, Georgia Southern took the victory to move to 8-10 overall and 2-3 in league play.
C.J. Reed paced Georgia Southern with 14 points while the senior added five assists and three steals. Reed was 4-for-4 from the free throw line on the night.
Freshman Cleon Roberts added 12 points including a perfect 5-for-5 mark at the free throw line. He led Georgia Southern at the stripe as the team went 13-for-15 at the line (87%). College of Charleston struggled at the line with a 7-for-12 showing (58%).
Eric Ferguson scored 11 points with six rebounds and a pair of crucial steals.
Charleston (12-6, 4-2 SoCon) was led by 15 points from Andrew Lawrence, a veteran of the 2012 London Olympics. Anthony Thomas had 10 points and seven rebounds while Willis Hall led the Cougars with 11 boards. The Eagles were out-rebounded 40-35, but punished the Cougars on the glass in the second half 22-17.
Both teams struggled on the offensive side of the ball in the first half with the Cougars taking a 20-13 advantage at the break. GSU shot just 25% from the field in the opening 20 minutes while Charleston managed a meager 32% mark. The 13-point performance was the Eagles lowest first half point total this season, but the Eagles only trailed by seven.