Senior Mike Groselle left his mark in his final collegiate game at McAlister Field House as he notched his 27th career double-double (24 points, 10 rebounds) to lead The Citadel to a 68-57 victory over Furman on Thursday evening.
Groselle finished 12-of-19 from the field and climbed the glass for a team-high 10 rebounds (5 offensive). He was joined in double figures by the tandem of Dylen Setzekorn and P.J. Horgan, who came off the bench to score 11 points apiece. Setzekorn, who finished 4-of-5 from the floor and 3-for-4 from beyond the arc, notched his third double-digit game of the season. Horgan, who was relegated to the bench in favor of fifth-year senior Stephen Elmore, knocked down 5-of-11 from the field and posted his fifth straight double figure outing.
The Bulldogs (8-20, 5-12 SoCon) finished 27-of-60 (45%) from the floor and have now converted 20 field goals in their last five contests. Highlighted by multiple 3-pointers from Setzekorn (3-4) and Ashton Moore (2-3), The Citadel knocked down 6-of-17 (35.3%) from long distance. The offense was clicking on all cylinders due in large part to the backcourt of Marshall Harris III (nine assists) and Raemond Robinson (eight assists), who led the team to 21 assists. That marks the fifth time in the 2012-13 season that the Dogs have handed out 20 or more assists in a game.
Furman (6-22, 3-14), who played three starters for all 40 minutes of the contest, was led by Larry Wideman's 17-point effort. Joining Wideman in double figures were Colin Reddick (14 points) and Bryand Irwin (12). Reddick completed his third double-double of the season with 10 rebounds (five offensive) as the Paladins edged the Bulldogs 35-34 on the glass.
Furman improved its shooting in the second half (12-25) to finish 20-of-53 (37.7%) from the floor and 8-of-20 (40%) from 3-point range on the contest. Wideman was the best individual shooter for the Paladins, hitting 6-of-18 from the floor, while Reddick closely followed by hitting 5-of-10. Guard Bobby Austin dished out four assists for Furman to go along with nine points.
Leading 30-22 at the intermission, The Citadel opened the second half on a 9-3 run sparked by four points by Groselle and three off the hand of Matt Van Scyoc.
Furman answered the Bulldogs run by scoring eight of the next 10 points, highlighted by Wideman's four, as the Paladins trimmed the deficit to 41-35 with 12:51 left in the half.
Leading by eight, 43-35, following a pair of Van Scyoc free throws the Bulldogs surrendered three 3-pointers, including two from Austin, during a 3:17 stretch which allowed Furman to pull within two points with 8:51 remaining.
Groselle breathed new life into The Citadel offense with a jumper from the right elbow and following a layups by Setzekorn and Horgan the Dogs pushed the margin to six, 55-47.
Trailing by eight, 57-49, following a Groselle layup the Paladins went inside to Reddick who converted an old-fashioned three-point play to cut the lead to five with 5:21 remaining.
The Citadel scored on its next three possessions, including a bank 3-pointer by Setzekorn, to push the lead to 64-52 with just over three minutes left.
Furman managed to pull within single digits on just one occasion, following a 3-pointer by Wideman, but a series of dunks by Horgan and Groselle down the stretch provided the 68-57 final. The Bulldogs completed their first season sweep of Furman since the 2008-09 season.
Four Bulldogs shared a team-high six points at the intermission including Groselle, Setzekorn, Moore and Horgan. Groselle also climbed the boards for a team-high five rebounds, snagging four on the defensive end.
The Citadel closed out the half hitting 13-of-31 (41.9%) as a unit, connecting on 4-of-13 (30.8%) from beyond the arc. The Dogs offense was paced by Groselle and Horgan who connected on three field goals each and anchored The Citadel's 16-10 advantage in points in the paint. Setzekorn and Moore came off the bench to knock down a pair of treys as the Cadets' bench outscored Furman 18-0.
Furman struggled with The Citadel's zone defense, hitting just 8-of-28 (28.6%) from the field. The Paladins knocked down 2-of-9 (22.2%) from 3-point range. The bright spot for Furman came on the glass as the Paladins outrebounded The Citadel 21-18 in the opening frame behind Reddick's six boards (three offensive).
Reddick knocked down 4-of-6 from the field to post a team-high nine points at the half for Furman. Irwin, who finished 2-of-3 from the floor, was the only other Paladin to make multiple field goals in the first half.
The Citadel established itself in the early going, jumping out to an 8-2 lead at the 15:06 mark following a layup by Horgan.
However, that lead quickly evaporated behind a 3-pointer by Kendrec Ferrara and scores by Reddick as Furman forged in from 10-8 just over three minutes later.
Moore's first of two 3-pointers from the right corner gave The Citadel a four-point cushion, 14-10, before five unanswered points by Furman pushed the Paladins in front by one.
The Citadel regained the lead on an alley-oop pass from Harris to Van Scyoc, who rocked the rim and gave the Dogs a 16-15 advantage.
Gaining momentum behind layups from Harris and Horgan, The Citadel turned to Groselle who came through with a layup at the 4:04 mark that stretched the lead to 24-19.
Two 3-pointers by Setzekorn in the final 2:36 of the first half provided the Bulldogs with an eight-point lead as both teams headed to the lockerroom.
The Citadel returns to action on Saturday evening when the team heads to Benjamin Johnson Arena to take on Wofford at 7 p.m.