GAME NOTES: Southern Conference action is on tap at Belk Arena on Thursday, as the Davidson Wildcats play host to the Citadel Bulldogs.
Bob McKillop's Wildcats are once again among the few favorites to win the SoCon this season. Davidson captured its 11th title last season and is off to a fast start this year at 4-1, despite suffering its lone conference loss last time out, a 70-57 setback at Georgia Southern on Monday.
Chuck Driesell's Bulldogs have struggled to post wins this season, as the team stands at a meager 3-12 overall. The Citadel have lost all five of their Southern Conference tilts to date, as part of a larger slide that has seen the team drop 11 straight games dating back to mid-November, including Monday's 73-69 setback to the College of Charleston.
Davidson holds a 94-45 advantage in the all-time series with the Citadel, including an impressive mark of 52-10 against the Bulldogs at home. The Wildcats have won two straight meetings and 19 of the last 21 matchups overall.
The Bulldogs suffer from a -11.1 scoring margin, obviously a key factor in the team's ugly record to this point. Offensively, the Citadel is averaging just 63.8 ppg on a mediocre .439 shooting percentage. Taking care of the ball has been problematic as well for the Bulldogs, who average 16.5 turnovers per game. Mike Groselle has been a bright spot on the season, shooting an impressive .576 from the field, while leading the team in both scoring (14.2 ppg) and rebounding (7.7 rpg). Matt Van Scyoc is the only other double-digit threat on the roster at 11.3 ppg.
The Bulldogs were actually quite efficient against the Cougars on Monday, shooting .528 from the floor, but it still wasn't enough to end their current skein, dropping a four-point decision. Groselle just missed a double-double in the loss with 19 points and nine rebounds. Van Scyoc poured in 17 points, while Ashton Moore came off the bench to tally 10.
Davidson doesn't put up flashy offensive numbers either, posting modest averages of 71.1 ppg on .432 shooting. The Wildcats do shoot the ball well from long range though, averaging just under 8 3-pointers per game. De'Mon Brooks and Jake Cohen are a solid one-two punch, averaging 13.5 and 13.4 ppg, respectively. Nik Cochran, the team's top distributor at 3.4 apg, can also find his own shot at 9.1 ppg.
The Wildcats failed to find their range in their first conference loss of the season on Monday in Statesboro against Georgia Southern. Davidson hit 10 3- pointers in the game, but that was half of the team's total made field-goals in the game. Chris Czerapowicz led the team with 13 points. Tyler Kalinoski and Cohen chipped in with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Bulldogs are winless in the conference and on the road as a whole this season. Those skids aren't likely to end at Belk Arena against the Wildcats.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Davidson 68, The Citadel 55
01/17 10:39:31 ET
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