Citadel falls to Wofford

(Citadel SID)

Spartanburg, S.C. - The Citadel basketball team outscored Wofford 23-8 during a 6:23 stretch of the second half, trimming a 17-point lead to two points, but the Terriers held on late to capture a 69-62 win to close out the regular season at Benjamin Johnson Arena on Saturday evening.

The 23-point outburst was highlighted by redshirt freshman Dylen Setzekorn, who knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and tacked on three free throws to lead all Citadel scorers with nine points. Setzekorn was joined in scoring by Mike Groselle and P.J. Horgan, who scored four points each, as well as Raemond Robinson and Janeil Jenkins who chipped in three points apiece.

Wofford (13-18, 7-11 SoCon) avenged an earlier six-point loss to The Citadel this season behind a 21-point, 11-rebound double-double from Lee Skinner. Skinner was joined in double figures by Karl Cochran (17 points) and Spencer Collins (16). That trio led the way for a Terriers unit that finished 27-of-53 (50.9%) from the floor and 11-of-14 (78.6%) at the charity stripe.

Individually, Skinner put the finishing touches on Wofford's senior night by hitting 7-of-9 from the floor and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. He reached double figures in rebounds after grabbing four on the offensive glass to go along with seven defensive boards. Cochran knocked down 7-of-14 field goals, including two from long distance, to eclipse double figures for the 23rd time this season. Wofford controlled the low post with a 36-16 edge in points in the paint.

Groselle led the charge for the Bulldogs with team highs in points (17) and rebounds (7). The senior finished 4-of-9 from the floor, but converted 9-of-12 free throws for his 24th double-digit outing of the season. Setzekorn came off the bench to score 13 points, hitting 4-of-6 from the floor including two long distance 3-pointers in the second half. Robinson rounded out double figure scorers with 11 points and a team-high seven assists as he finished 3-of-7 from the field and 2-for-4 from beyond the arc.

The Citadel rebounded from a difficult shooting first half to finish 11-of-27 (40.7%) from the floor in the second half. That allowed the Dogs to end the game hitting 17-of-45 (37.8%) from the field. The Bulldogs pumped in 21 points from the charity stripe where they finished 21-of-29 (72.4%), marking the fifth time this season that the Cadets have hit at least 20 free throws in a contest.

Behind four points from Skinner, Wofford pushed a 33-20 lead at the intermission to 17 points behind a 7-3 run inside the first five minutes of the second half.

Trailing 40-23, The Citadel answered Wofford's run with a pair of treys from Robinson and a layup by Horgan to quickly trim the lead to 11 at the 12:56 mark.

Wofford again turned to Skinner who provided three of the next seven points in an eight-point stretch to forge ahead 49-32 with 11:44 on the clock.

It was there that Setzekorn took over by converting a pair of free throws after a foul by Wagener on an attempted breakaway layup following a steal.

The Dogs would take advantage of 10 free throws during the next 6:32 of the game to eventually pull within 57-55 of the Terriers with 5:21 remaining.

A Cochran 3-pointer shortly followed by a Collins layup provided the Terriers with a 62-55 cushion with just under four minutes remaining.

The Bulldogs made one final push as Marshall Harris III forced a turnover following a made free throw by Groselle, cutting the lead to four, but Wofford held on to complete the 69-62 victory on the final weekend of SoCon regular season play.

Only three Bulldogs cracked the scoring column in the first half, led by Groselle's 11 points, as The Citadel struggled from the field. The Cadets converted only 6-of-18 (33.3%) from the field, hitting 1-of-5 (20%) from beyond the arc. The bright spot for The Citadel's offense came from the free throw line, where the Dogs capped off the first half by hitting 7-of-9 (77.8).

Groselle led the Bulldogs by converting 3-of-6 field goal attempts and hitting 5-of-6 from the free throw line. He also climbed the glass for a team-high four rebounds. Matt Van Scyoc, who finished 2-of-5 from the floor, was the only other Bulldog to hit multiple shots in the first half.

Wofford's offense managed to burn the clock and take advantage of 15-for-27 (55.6%) shooting to establish a lead heading into the intermission. The Terriers closed out the opening half by hitting 3-of-8 (37.5%) from the 3-point line, behind the trio of Wagener, Collins and Cochran who were responsible for one long distance shot each.

Collins and Cochran shared scoring honors for the Terriers with seven points each. Cochran drove home 3-of-5 attempts while Collins was successful on 3-of-6 attempts from the floor. Skinner crashed the boards for a team-high six, grabbing five on the defensive glass, as Wofford finished with a 14-11 edge in rebounds. The Terriers also used their inside game to establish an 18-10 edge in points in the paint.

The combination of Van Scyoc and Groselle provided the first 11 Citadel points of the contest as the two teams battled to an 11-11 tie at the 13:03 mark. Van Scyoc drilled a 3-pointer from the top of the key to open up scoring for the Dogs.

The Terriers regained the lead, 13-11, on a layup by Skinner at the 10:48 mark and from there rattled off a 10-2 run to move in front by eight. Collins bucketed six points in that stretch while Smith and Wagener added two points apiece.

Groselle drew a foul from Smith and followed by knocking down both free throws to draw the Dogs within six, 21-15, with 6:31 left in the half.

Five points in less than a minute, including a 3-pointer off the hand of Cochran, provided Wofford with its first double-digit lead of the half as the Terriers moved in front 26-16.

Setzekorn answered with a layup on a pass from Robinson, trimming the margin to eight, but Wofford scored five of the final seven points of the half to take a 33-20 lead into the lockerroom.

The 11th seeded Bulldogs now head to the Southern Conference Tournament in Asheville, N.C., where they will take on sixth seeded Western Carolina on Friday, March 8 in a rematch of last year's opening round game.