CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Citadel overcame a 16-point deficit in the final 17:14 to defeat North Carolina A&T, 78-70, Thursday evening inside McAlister Field House.
Final Score: The Citadel 78, North Carolina A&T 70
Records: The Citadel (2-0), North Carolina A&T (2-3)
Location: Charleston, South Carolina (McAlister Field House)
Series: Series tied 1-1
How it Happened
- The Bulldogs fell behind early as the Aggies jumped out to a 9-3 deficit just under three minutes into the game.
- Kaiden Rice was able to end the run by knocking down his first three-pointer of the game.
- The lead would grow back to eight just before the midway point of the half, but Hayden Brown made back-to-back field goals to pull The Citadel within three points.
- The Bulldogs would get within one at the four-minute mark, but NCAT closed out the half with a 9-0 run to take a 40-30 lead into halftime.
- The Bulldogs got off to a slow start in the second half as the Aggies extended the lead to 46-30 with 17:14 to play.
- The momentum started to change on the next possession as Brady Spence made a tough basket down low and completed the three-point play.
- A three-pointer from Rice and two triples from Fletcher Abee helped trim the deficit to eight with just over 12 minutes to play.
- The Bulldogs came out of the media timeout firing and three-straight three-pointers from Rice, Abee and Moffe to make it a one-point game.
- The Citadel was finally able to complete the comeback and tie the game with 5:31 remaining on an Abee three-pointer from the right wing.
- Both teams went scoreless over the next 1:32 seconds of action.
- The final four minutes belonged to the Bulldogs as they outscored the Aggies 12-4 down the stretch.
- Brown score four quick points out of the timeout to give the Bulldogs their first lead since the 18:35 mark of the first half.
- The Aggies tied the game, 70-70, with 2:06 to play before the Bulldogs got big baskets from Brown and Moffe to take a four-point lead.
- Stephen Clark made the sure the Aggies did not get any closer as he swatted away his fifth shot of the game in the final minute.
Inside the Numbers
- The victory improved the Bulldogs to 2-0 on the season. It is the first time the Bulldogs have opened the season 2-0 since defeating Army West Point and Washington and Lee to begin the 2004-05 season.
- The Citadel went 17-of-32 (.531) from the field in the second half, including making seven three-pointers. They ended the game by going 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.
- The Bulldogs had four players score in double figures, including a pair with 20 points.
- Hayden Brown and Fletcher Abbe each had a game-high 20 points. It marked the second-straight game The Citadel has had two players with at least 20 points.
- Brown added 11 rebounds for his second double-double in as many games.
- Abee scored 14 of his 20 points in the second half. He also added nine rebounds, including six offensive boards, and five assists.
- Tyler Moffe finished with 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals.
- Kaiden Rice was the fourth player in double figures with 14 points.
- Stephen Clark came off the bench to block five shots. He added four points and two assists. He is the first Bulldog since Zane Najdawi (Jan. 23, 2019) to block five shots in a game.
- Turnovers played a key role in the comeback victory as The Citadel only turned ball over twice in the second half.