CHARLESTON, SC - Ashton Moore scored a team-high 20 points and P.J. Horgan added 18 points and seven rebounds as The Citadel earned an 71-58 victory over Toccoa Falls in its home opener on Wednesday evening.
Entering the second half with a 38-23 advantage, The Citadel combined the inside play of Horgan and C.J. Bray with the 3-point shooting of Moore and Marshall Harris III to lead 50-35 just under eight minutes into the frame.
Toccoa Falls chipped away at the double-digit deficit with a 10-4 run, sparked by nine points from Josh Barrett, as the Eagles moved within nine at the 7:29 mark.
A jumper by Horgan, followed by a Moore 3-pointer, pushed The Citadel back in front by double figures. Those two scores marked the beginning of a 15-4 run that stretched 4:27 of the contest as the Bulldogs assumed a 69-49 advantage.
The Eagles again turned to the services of Josh Barrett, who scored seven of the team's final nine points of the contest to make for the 13-point difference.
Moore, who converted 7-of-21 from the floor, was successful on 6-of-15 from beyond the arc en route to the 14th 20-point game of his Bulldog career. The six treys were a single-game career-high for the Suffolk, Va., native who passed Jamie Jenkins (132) and Kevin Hammack (133) to move into ninth place among the school's all-time 3-point shooters.
Horgan was also an integral part of The Citadel (1-2) offense as he reached double figures for the second time this season after hitting 9-of-13 from the floor. He snagged seven boards, three on the offensive glass, to give the Dogs a 44-27 advantage in rebounds.
Sophomore Brian White came off the bench to close with 14 points and 12 rebounds, hitting 5-of-8 from the field in the process. White's 12 rebounds tie a career-high that he set last season against Army. It marks the fourth time in his career, and first since Dec. 18, 2013 against Brevard, that White has notched a double-double for the Cadets.
The Citadel closed out the victory by hitting 26-of-61 (42.6%) from the floor and 11-of-16 (68.8%) from the charity stripe. One of the major keys to the Dogs' success was their unselfish play as they finished with 17 assists, including a game-high seven from Marshall Harris III and three from fellow starter Warren Sledge.
Toccoa Falls (5-2) was led offensively by the duo of Josh Barrett (27 points) and Derek Westfall (10). Josh Barrett scored 20 of his game-high 27 points in the second half as he finished 8-of-16 from the floor and 4-of-7 from 3-point range. He also managed to knock down 7-of-9 from the charity stripe and posed a threat defensively throughout the night for The Citadel with a game-best five steals.
The Eagles recovered from a difficult shooting opening half, where they hit only 8-of-26 (30.8%) from the field, to finish the game 20-of-49 (40.8%). That was due in large part to a 12-of-23 (52.2%) second half shooting display that included a trio of 3-pointers.
The Citadel established itself early in the game as it ran out to a 16-0 lead behind five points from Sledge and four from Horgan. Sledge, making the second start of his collegiate career in place of the injured Quinton Marshall, contributed immediately as he drove home a 3-pointer at the 18:11 mark.
The Dogs defensive effort held Toccoa Falls to single digits until the 7:41 mark, when a jumper by Zach Barrett made for a 25-10 contest.
The Eagles twice pulled within 12 points of The Citadel, including a 27-15 score, but the Bulldogs withstood the challenge with an 11-2 run that was highlighted by a pair of Moore treys. The 21-point lead was the largest of the night for the Bulldogs.