Late Bulldog Rally Not Enough to Clip West Alabama
TOWSON, MD -
West Alabama's Cordell Pope came off the bench to score a game-high 23 points to go along with 10 rebounds as the Tigers completed an undefeated weekend at the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament with a 90-77 victory over The Citadel on Saturday afternoon.
The Tigers extended a 23-point lead at the half to 30 points in just over two minutes of play behind five points from Aaron Cobb.
But freshman Brian White singlehandedly scored the next five Citadel points and along with contributions from Ashton Moore and Tom Koopman the Bulldogs narrowed the lead to 62-41 with 14:39 remaining.
West Alabama (3-2) countered that 10-2 run by the Dogs by scoring 16 of the next 23 points, over a 5:50 stretch, to push the margin to 78-48. In that run, the Tigers penetrated the lane for five layups.
White scored 13 of the next 16 points for the Bulldogs as they began gradually chipping away at the 30-point deficit. In just over three minutes the West Alabama lead was cut in half due to White's scoring surge.
Buckets by Desmond Raymond and Corey Pope twice pushed the margin to 17, but the Dogs answered with jumpers by Matt Van Scyoc and a series of free throws by C.J. Bray to eventually pull within 84-73.
With 2:19 left on the clock junior guard Marshall Harris III forced a steal and converted a layup to draw The Citadel within nine. However, that would be as close as the Dogs would get as two free throws and a breakaway dunk made for West Alabama's 13-point victory.
Pope, one of four players to reach double figures for the Tigers, finished 9-of-13 from the floor and was successful on five treys. He was joined in double digits by Cobb (19 points), Raymond (18) and Sandy Underwood (13).
The Tigers finished 32-of-63 (50.8%) from the field and drained 11-of-25 (44.0%) from 3-point range. West Alabama held advantages over the Bulldogs in rebounds (39-32), points in the paint (38-28) and bench points (31-18) in the victory.
White proved to be the offensive catalyst for the Bulldogs as he scored 24 points, all in the second half, after hitting 7-of-10 from the floor and 9-of-10 at the charity stripe. The freshman forward, who earned his second all-tournament accolade of the season, also made his presence felt on the glass for the Cadets, pulling down nine rebounds (eight offensive).
White was joined in double figures by Scyoc who contributed 12 points on 4-of-13 shooting from the floor. The Citadel (3-6) was 23-of-51 (45.1%) as a unit, rebounding from a tough shooting first half (7-31) to convert 13-of-27 (48.1%) in the second frame.
Five points from Moore and two each by Marshall Harris III and Van Scyoc allowed the Bulldogs to establish a 9-2 lead three minutes into the game.
That margin quickly evaporated as West Alabama used six points in the paint and a 3-pointer off the hand of Spears to take its first lead 13-12 at the 12:17 mark. Just over a minute later The Citadel regained the lead, 15-13, on a 3-pointer by Van Scyoc.
West Alabama responded with a 19-4 run over the next 3:55 of the contest to move in front 32-19. The run by Tigers was highlighted by five points from Underwood and a trio of 3-point conversions.
A series of free throws by Harris and Van Scyoc, combined with a jumper by Setzekorn, moved the Dogs within striking distance at 37-25 with just over four minutes remaining.
West Alabama again responded to the challenge for the lead with a run. This time the Tigers rattled off 14 of the next 17 points to take a 51-28 lead at the break. That scoring spurt was keyed by three long distance shots for West Alabama including two from Pope.
The Bulldogs return to action on Dec. 4 when they head to Annapolis, Md., to take on Navy. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m.
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