College of Charleston (18-11) at The Citadel (6-22)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 25th, 3:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McAlister Field House (6,000) -- Charleston, South Carolina. Television: SoCon TV. Home Record: CofC 10-4, Citadel 4-9. Away Record: CofC 6-6, Citadel 1-12. Neutral Record: CofC 2-1, Citadel 1-1. Conference Record: CofC 9-8, Citadel 3-14. Series Record: CofC leads, 48-39.
GAME NOTES: The College of Charleston Cougars and The Citadel Bulldogs opened their respective Southern Conference schedules against one another back in early-December, and today they will square off again in the regular-season finale for both teams at McAlister Field House.
Charleston cruised to an 83-64 victory in that Dec. 1 meeting, and the Cougars lead the all-time series, 48-39. In fact, they have won 17 of the last 20 matchups with Citadel.
Entering today's rematch, Charleston has won two straight and five of its last six outings. Most recently, the Cougars notched a 58-53 victory over Georgia Southern on Thursday night. They have gone 10-4 at home this season and have won three straight at McAlister Field House.
It has been a long and tumultuous season for Citadel, although the team enters this tilt riding its very first winning streak. After sputtering through an 11-game skid, the Bulldogs have won their last two outings, which accounts for one-third of their season's win total. They notched their only road win of the year last Saturday at Chattanooga, then followed that up with a 62-51 home win over Appalachian State this past Wednesday.
Charleston turned to sophomore forward Trent Wiedeman against Georgia Southern, as he led all scorers with 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting in the team's final scheduled home game. The Cougars wasted little time, jumping out to a 17-point first-half lead against an Eagles team that entered the contest riding a conference-best six-game win streak. However, that early lead eventually faded and GSU went up by two with three minutes to play in regulation. Cougars freshman Anthony Stitt, who was playing for the first time in more than a month because of a hand injury, answered with a big three- pointer to regain the lead, and Charleston was able to hang on for the win. Andrew Lawrence (seven assists) and Antwaine Wiggins joined Wiedeman in double figures with 10 points each. The Cougars were out-rebounded 34-25, but they helped make up for that by forcing 20 turnovers. Rebounding has been somewhat of an issue throughout the season, as the team boasts a -3.1 margin on the boards. But where the Cougars can really hurt their opponents is from outside, where they are averaging better than eight three-pointers per tilt. Wiggins (16.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and Andrew Lawrence (12.9 ppg) are largely responsible for that, as they have each knocked down 59 threes at a 36-percent clip. Down low, Wiedeman is averaging 12.0 points and a team-best 8.8 rebounds. He is pulling down 9.8 rpg in league play.
Leading the way for the Citadel is big man Mike Groselle, a 59.2-percent shooter from the floor who is tallying 16.6 points and a league-best 9.5 rebounds per tilt. However, he is also the team's only double-digit scorer. Still, a season full of disappointment has taken a turn for the positive over the last week, and any college hoops team playing with confidence is a dangerous one. A week ago, the Bulldogs traveled to Chattanooga and knocked down 10-of-21 three-pointers (.476) while holding the Mocs to 32-percent shooting from the floor. Groselle grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds in that contest, while Lawrence Miller provided a spark off the bench with five three- pointers. A few nights later, Citadel held Appalachian State to only 19 first- half points behind 8- of-25 shooting. That head start provided all the cushion necessary for the Bulldogs, who shot 50 percent for the game while holding the Mountaineers to 35.7-percent shooting. Citadel also held a 36-26 rebounding advantage and out-scored ASU at the free-throw line, 21-8. Groselle scored 18 on 6-of-8 shooting, while Bo Holston recorded his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 boards.
Credit the Bulldogs for hanging tough through a difficult season and pulling out a couple of wins in the past week. However, this afternoon they face a Charleston squad that has been even hotter since interim head coach Mark Byington took the reins in late-January.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: College of Charleston 75, Citadel 70
02/25 10:39:41 ET