CHARLESTON, S.C. – Despite shooting just 28.2 percent in the first half, The Citadel men’s basketball team found itself down just seven points, 38-31, to East Tennessee State at the halftime break. Despite appearing to get some momentum heading into the locker room, the Buccaneers came out and quickly widened the gap in the first four minutes of the second half and cruised to a 98-73 Southern Conference win inside McAlister Field House.
Location: Charleston, S.C. (McAlister Field House)
Final Score: ETSU 98, The Citadel 73
Records: ETSU (14-4, 4-1 SoCon), The Citadel (9-6, 1-3 SoCon)
Series: ETSU leads, 44-17
- ETSU jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead as Daivein Williamson hit a 3-pointer nearly 25 seconds in, but Alex Reed had the answer on the other end to knot the score.
- From there, the Bucs were able to open up a 12-point, 21-9 lead using a 19-6 run over the next 7-plus minutes, including a 10-0 run near the end of the stretch.
- The Bulldogs cut into the lead and began to fight and claw their way back into the game, pulling to within five points, 27-22, off a Kaiden Rice 3-pointer with 4:51 to play in the first half, and Rice then made it just four a few minutes later off a layup.
- As time expired in the opening stanza, Lew Stallworth drove to the hoop and put up a layup that bounced off the iron, but bounced into the waiting hands of Derek Webster, Jr. Webster wasted no time, gently putting a tip-in layup back into the hoop to set the score at 38-31 in favor of the Bucs, but giving the 'Dogs some momentum and energy heading into the locker room.
- The Bulldogs shot just 28.2 percent (11-of-39) from the field for the first half compared to 48.6 percent (17-of-35) by the Bucs. The key stat of the first half, and the game, was Buccaneer turnovers. ETSU committed nine turnovers in the first half alone, and the Bulldogs turned those into 10 points.
- The Bucs came out in the second half and quickly turned the seven-point lead into a 17-point advantage, opening the stanza with a 10-0 run before Stallworth was able to slow the run with a layup nearly four minutes in.
- With 14:41 to play in regulation, the Buccaneer lead was 20, 54-34, as Patrick Good hit a fast-break layup.
- The Bulldogs shot better in the second half, especially after the initial four minutes of the stanza, ending the period shooting 41.7 percent (15-of-36) from the field, including 50 percent (8-of-16) from beyond the 3-point arc.
- ETSU also shot better in the second half, connecting on 63.9 percent (23-of-36) of their attempts from the field for the period, making 10 treys.
- ETSU ended the game shooting 56.3 percent (40-of-71) from the field and 45.2 percent (14-of-32) from long range. The Bucs were just 4-of-6 (.667) from the free throw line.
- For the game, the Bulldogs shot 34.7 percent (26-of-75) from the field for the game, and 38.9 percent (14-of-36) from 3-point range.
- The Bucs took advantage of 25 fast-break points compared to nine by the Bulldogs.
- Stallworth led the 'Dogs with 18 points and six assists in 27 minutes of work. Rice added 17 points off the bench, including a game-high four 3-pointers.
- Williamson led all scorers with 24 points off 9-of-13 shooting (.692), including four treys.
- ETSU is currently 14th in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 poll, and has won six games in a row.
- With his 11 points Thursday night, senior Zane Najdawi climbed another spot in The Citadel record book, moving from sixth to fifth with 1,411 career points. He also moved up from eighth to seventh for career rebounds with eight, giving the Midlothian, Virginia native 628 career boards.
- Najdawi swatted away another two shots Thursday night against ETSU, marking the 49th-career game the big man has had multiple blocks in a single game. He now has 170 career blocks.
- Najdawi's eight-rebound performance was the seventh of the season for him, and the 25th of his career. Last season, Najdawi had just four eight-rebound games after recording 12 as a sophomore in 2016-17.
- After 52 straight games with at least one 3-pointer made, senior Matt Frierson was held in check Thursday night, snapping the streak.