CHARLESTON, SC - Redshirt junior Bo Holston recorded his first career double-double, 13 points and 10 rebounds, to guide The Citadel to a 62-51 victory over Appalachian State at McAlister Field House. Holston was the catalyst to a Bulldog offense that witnessed three double figure scorers, including Mike Groselle (18 points) and C.J. Bray (10 points). The Citadel has now earned back-to-back Southern Conference victories for the first time since last season, when they downed Western Carolina and Davidson in late January.
Holston knocked down 3-of-6 from the floor and finished 7-of-9 from the charity stripe to close with 13 points. He also made his defensive presence known with a team-high seven defensive rebounds.
The Bulldogs hit 19-of-38 (50%) from the floor and were successful on 21-of-28 (75%) attempts from the charity stripe. Groselle was the individual leader in field goals, converting 6-of-8, while Bray finished 5-of-9 to go along with seven rebounds. Teammate Lawrence Miller added a punch from the perimeter, hitting 3-of-5 from 3-point range, to close with nine points. The Cadets edge Appalachian State in points in the paint (28-22) and bench points (19-16) as they moved to 6-22 overall and 3-14 in conference action.
Appalachian State (12-16, 7-10 SoCon) was paced by a game-high 19-point performance by junior Nathan Healy. Healy reached his career-high behind a 6-of-12 outing, which included three conversions from beyond the arc. Andre Williamson came off the bench to score 10 points and add a game-high 14 rebounds for the Mountaineers, hauling in seven offensive boards. However, ASU struggled in dealing with The Citadel's zone defense, hitting just 20-of-56 (35.7%) from the field and 3-of-22 (13.6%) from beyond the arc.
After holding the Mountaineers to their fewest first half points since scoring 17 against East Carolina, The Citadel took an eight point lead, 30-22, on a Groselle free throw at the 16:06 mark of the second half.
The Bulldogs used their defense to keep the Mountaineers at eight, before Healy scored five straight points to trim the lead to 32-28 just over two minutes later.
On the ensuing possession, DeVontae Wright found Miller for a key 3-pointer from the right arc to provide a 35-28 lead for The Citadel.
Appalachian State scored six of the next 10 points, including a pair of free throws by Omar Carter, to make for a 39-35 Bulldogs advantage with just under 10 minutes remaining.
After a three minute scoring lull by both teams, Groselle sent home a Holston pass to provide a 41-35 Dogs lead.
The Citadel went onto score 16 of their final 21 points from the free throw line, over the final 5:21 of the contest. Holston led the way with seven free throws, while Groselle and Wright added four each.
Despite six points apiece from Healy and teammate Tab Hamilton, Appalachian State falls to 0-13 on the season when trailing at the half.
Taking advantage of a 3-pointer by Miller and a layup by Holston, who charged from just outside the arc in an attempt to dunk over Healy, The Citadel outscored Appalachian State 21-16 down the stretch to complete the victory.
The Citadel's inside game was the key to the opening half, as Groselle and Bray scored eight and six points, respectively, to go along with a combined nine rebounds. Groselle found his range by hitting 4-of-5 from the floor and snagged three offensive rebounds, giving the Bulldogs an 18-10 edge in points in the paint. Meanwhile, Bray came off the bench to hit 3-of-5 field goal attempts, along with a team-high five rebounds.
The Dogs hit 12-of-22 (54.5%) from the floor, connecting on only one 3-point attempt in the process. Along with Holston's four rebounds the Cadets finished with an 18-9 advantage in rebounds.
Appalachian State opened the game by hitting 8-of-25 (32%), including Healy who finished 3-of-6 en route to eight points. Healy led five Mountaineers in scoring, followed closely by Williamson who came off the bench to finish with four points. Williamson posted a team-best four rebounds, three of which came on the offensive glass, as ASU was limited to nine team rebounds.
The two teams traded baskets in the early phases of the game, as the Mountaineers assumed an 8-4 lead on an old fashioned three-point play by Healy at the 16:34 mark.
The Citadel quickly answered by scoring six of the next eight points, over the next 1:41 of the contest, by utilizing the inside combination of Groselle, Bray and Jordan Robertson, to knot the game at 10-10.
Appalachian State countered with back-to-back buckets by Williamson and Carter to regain the lead, 14-10.
The Bulldogs bounced back by scoring the next nine straight points, keyed by four points from Groselle and a 3-pointer by Miller, to move in front 19-14 with just under six minutes remaining.
Healy and Williamson converted a pair of buckets to pull the Mountaineers even at 19, before a jumper and free throw by Marshall Harris III gave the Dogs a three point edge with 2:19 remaining.
The Citadel closed out the first half on a 7-0 run following a pair of scores by Bray and Holston to take a 26-19 lead into the locker room.