Sophomore Ashton Moore finished with 12 points, leading four Citadel players in double figures, but it Radford's ability to control the glass that made the difference in the Highlanders 74-61 victory at McAlister Field House on Saturday afternoon.
Moore came off the bench and connected on 4-of-9 field goals, including a pair of 3-pointers, coupled with four assists to lead The Citadel offense. He was joined in double-digit scoring by Mike Groselle (10 points), Marshall Harris III (10) and Matt Van Scyoc (10). Another key reserve for the Cadets was Dylen Setzekorn, whose eight-point output was highlighted by a 6-for-6 outing from the free throw line in the second half. The Bulldogs finished 18-of-47 (38.3%) from the floor, converting five 3-pointers and knocked down 20-of-24 (83.3%) from the free throw line.
Groselle posted a team-high nine rebounds, snagging four on the offensive glass, as The Citadel finished with 33 team rebounds. Joining Groselle among the rebounding leaders were Harris (five) and Van Scyoc (four). The Dogs slipped to 3-2 on the season as they head into their first Southern Conference contest on Dec. 1.
Radford earned the victory in the first-ever meeting between two schools behind the 13-point outing of Ya Ya Anderson. Anderson finished 5-for-9 from the floor, hitting two 3-pointers, while teammate Blake Smith added 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting from the field. Also reaching double figures for the Highlanders (4-3) were R.J. Price and Kyle Noreen, who finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Anderson and Smith shared a team-high five field goals as Radford closed the contest by hitting 26-of-63 (41.3%) from the floor. The key for the Highlanders' offense was 18 offensive rebounds, leading to 13 second chance points. As a team, Radford pulled down 42 rebounds, allowing for a 36-18 edge in points in the paint.
Facing an 18-point deficit at the intermission, The Citadel opened with seven of the first 12 points of the second half, including three from Harris, to make for a 47-31 lead.
The Bulldogs and Radford battle through a scoreless 3:04 stretch of the second half, before Anderson scored on a layup to push the margin back to 18, 49-31.
Just over two minutes later, Moore's jumper from just outside the lane sparked a 12-0 Citadel run that trimmed the Highlander lead to six, 49-43. In that span, Setzekorn drew Radford three fouls and finished a perfect 6-of-6 to energize the Bulldogs offense.
Radford answered with back-to-back layups by Noreen and Price, moving the lead back to double figures, 53-43. However, at the 6:46 mark of the game Harris found Setzekorn on the fast break for a layup, drawing the margin eight.
The Highlanders did not succumb to the Bulldogs defensive pressure, outscoring
The Citadel 12-4 over the next 4:49 of the game to stretch the lead to 65-49.
Eight points by Moore in the final 1:19 of the half was not enough to deny Radford, who came away with the 74-61 win.
The Citadel offense was plagued by 8-of-24 (33.3%) shooting from the field, including three 3-pointers, in the opening frame. The Bulldogs were led in scoring by Van Scyoc (8 points), Groselle (6 points) and Miller (5 points). Van Scyoc connected on 2-of-5 field goal attempts, both coming from beyond the arc, to go along with a pair of free throws. Meanwhile, Groselle hauled in seven rebounds, including three on the offensive glass, to lead the way for a Citadel unit that finished with 20 by the intermission.
Meanwhile, the Highlanders capitalized on 15 offensive rebounds in the first half to open up a 42-24 lead at the intermission. Anderson led the way for Radford with 11 points, hitting 4-of-7 from the floor, including two 3-pointers.
After a 2:29 scoreless stretch by both teams to open the game, Radford ran off 12 of the next 16 points over a 3:54 stretch to assume the 12-4 lead on a Brandon Holcomb old fashioned three-point play.
Van Scyoc singlehandedly scored the next six points for The Citadel, draining a pair of 3-pointers to make for a 15-10 lead at the 12:42 mark.
Following a bucket by Anderson, Moore and Groselle combined for the next four Citadel points, which cut the margin to 17-14.
That lead quickly turned to nine, 23-14, following a layup by Radford's Javonte Green with 9:16 remaining in the half. Just over a minute later, with the Dogs trailing 29-18 following a Groselle layup, the Highlanders put together an 11-0 run highlighted by consecutive 3-pointers by Anderson and Noreen to stretch the lead to 40-18.
The Citadel snapped its drought with a Miller 3-pointer and following points by Bray and Groselle closed the half on a 6-2 run, sending both teams to the intermission with a 42-24 Radford lead.
The Bulldogs return to action next Saturday at the Greensboro Coliseum when they face UNC Greensboro at 7 p.m.