Clide Geffrard Jr., netted a game-high 22 points, including 12 points in the second half, to lead Samford past The Citadel, 69-65, on Saturday evening at McAlister Field House. Geffrard was joined in double figures by teammates Raijon Kelly and Tim Williams, who scored 15 points, respectively.
Samford capped off their first win at The Citadel win by virtue of hitting 23-of-47 (48.9%) from the floor and 6-of-13 (46.2%) from 3-point range. The Bulldogs (5-12, 3-1 SoCon) edged the Cadets 24-22 in the paint and behind Williams' six rebounds finished with 29 total rebounds (eight offensive). Another key for Samford's success came from the free throw line, where they hit 17-of-22 (77.3%).
Geffrard reached double figures for the seventh time this season after hitting 7-of-11 from the floor and 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. Kelly closely followed with a 5-of-14 performance from the floor and added to his double figure outing by hitting all four free throw attempts. Williams, the remaining Bulldog in double digits, knocked down 5-of-7 from the field and 5-of-7 from the charity stripe.
Freshman Matt Van Scyoc topped all Citadel scorers for the second straight contest, finishing with 19 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the field. Four of Van Scyoc's six field goals came from 3-point range. The freshman also made his presence felt by hauling in five rebounds, dishing out three assists and finishing with two blocks.
Teammate Marshall Harris III capped off his fifth double figure outing of the year by hitting 4-11 from the floor, including a trio of 3-pointers, all in the second half. Harris was also responsible for seven of The Citadel's 18 assists. The duo of P.J. Horgan (11 points) and Ashton Moore (6 points) led the way for Citadel reserves. Horgan hit all four field goal attempts while Moore provided a pair of long range 3-pointers. The Bulldogs slipped to 3-11 overall and 0-4 in Southern Conference action.
The Citadel finished 22-of-52 (42.3%) from the field as a unit, including 11-of-25 (44%) from 3-point range. It marks the first time that the Cadets have hit double-digit 3-pointers since a meeting with Chattanooga on Feb. 18, 2012, when they finished with 10.
Facing a four-point deficit coming out of the intermission, The Citadel offense turned to Groselle for the opening points of the second half, trimming the lead to two.
Will Cook immediately followed with a 3-pointer, pushing the Samford lead to five, just before a 6-0 run by The Citadel, which included treys by Harris and Stephen Elmore, provided the Cadets with their first lead, 39-38, since the 13:49 mark of the first half.
Samford regained the advantage on a Geffrard layup and forged ahead by four points at the 14:04 mark of the second half following a pair of Kelly free throws.
The Citadel responded with a 3-pointer by Moore, as the two teams traded baskets over the next 2:50 of the game, eventually making for a 50-49 Samford lead.
With the Samford lead at five, 54-49, following a pair of scores by Williams in the paint, Groselle drew a foul from Williams and knocked down a series of free throws to trim the deficit to three.
Samford responded by running off the next five straight points and assumed an eight-point advantage, 59-51, with 8:10 left in the half.
Over the 4:22 of the contest Harris singlehandedly scored The Citadel's next eight points, including a layup that narrowed the Samford lead to 63-59. The Bulldogs quickly followed a missed jumper by Kelly on the following possession with a Moore 3-pointer to cut the lead to one.
However, The Citadel would edge no closer as six straight free throws by Williams, Geffrard and Kelly in succession made for the 69-65 final.
Van Scyoc continued to have the hot hand in the Citadel lineup, opening the first half by connecting on 6-of-8 field goals, including four from beyond the arc. His 17 point, three-rebound effort, were both statistical highs for the Cadets.
Also with a solid first half effort for The Citadel was Horgan, who converted all three field goal attempts and added a pair of free throws to finish the frame with eight points and two rebounds.
The Citadel was 11-of-24 (45.8%) from the floor and knocked down 5-of-13 (38.5%) at the 3-point line. The Dogs matched Samford in the paint with 12 points apiece and held a distinct 11-2 edge in bench points.
Geffrard led the way for Samford with 10 points, managing to convert 3-of-5 from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers, as the Bulldogs finished 13-of-27 (48.1%) from the floor and 4-7 (57.1%) from 3-point range.
Van Scyoc opened with nine of The Citadel's first 11 points, hitting a pair of 3-pointers in the first 5:57 of the game to make for an 11-11 tie.
After Raemond Robinson scored his only point of the game, Samford took advantage of five points by Williams to establish an 18-12 lead at the 11:21 mark. The Bulldogs lead ballooned to seven, 21-14, after a 3-pointer by Geffrard just under a minute later.
Continuing to find their range, Samford scored 12 of the next 19 points, including long range buckets by Geffrard and Will Cook, extending the margin to 33-21 with 3:58 left.
The Citadel put on its defensive clamps and used the offense from Van Scyoc and Horgan, who combined for 10 points, to pull within 35-31 as both teams headed into the intermission.
The Citadel completes its three-game in five-day homestand against crosstown rival College of Charleston on Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. The game, sponsored by Coke Zero and Bulldog Tours, can be seen locally on MyTV (Comcast 36/DirecTV 24) as well as ESPN3