March 3, 2011

Fifth Seeded Bulldogs Prepare for SoCon Tournament Battle with Elon

CHARLESTON, S.C.—The fifth seeded Citadel Basketball team opens the first round of the Southern Conference Tournament on Friday evening when it meets fifth seed Elon on Friday at McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga, Tenn. It marks just the second meeting between the two schools in the conference tournament, with the Phoenix getting the better of the Bulldogs by a 66-56 margin on March 3, 2004. The Citadel's 72nd SoCon Tournament game in school history marks the first under head coach Chuck Driesell.

"One of our goals for the season was to win this tournament," Driesell said. "To do that you have to play with confidence and we have to come out and play 40 minutes of confident basketball on Friday night and the rest of the weekend in order to be successful. We realize that we are a team that doesn't have a lot of room for error. If we make a mistake here or there in a critical part of the game, it's difficult for us to recover. However, as we head into the tournament now we have to learn from those particular errors and capitalize on our opportunities."

DRIESELL'S TOURNAMENT DEBUT: Citadel Head Coach Chuck Driesell becomes the 12th different first-year coach in program history to lead his team into a Southern Conference Tournament game. His father 'Lefty' Driesell led Davidson to a 12-5 record at the tournament from 1960-1969. Driesell is looking to become just the third coach, and first since Mel Thompson in 1961, to win the opening game of the SoCon Tournament in his first year at the helm. 

Date

Opponent

Result

Head Coach

Feb. 29, 1940

at Duke

L, 35-40

Ben Parker

March 4, 1943

at South Carolina

W, 37-23

Bo Sherman

Feb. 22, 1945

vs. William & Mary

L, 41-54

Ernest Wehman

March 7, 1957

vs. Washington & Lee

L, 62-85

Norm Sloan

March 2, 1961

vs. Richmond

W, 70-66

Mel Thompson

March 1, 1968

vs. Richmond

L, 88-100

Dick Campbell

March 2, 1972

vs. East Carolina

L, 71-80

George Hill

March 1, 1975

at East Carolina

L, 66-78

Les Robinson

Feb. 28, 1986

vs. Chattanooga

L, 66-69

Randy Nesbit

March 4, 1993

vs. Georgia Southern

L, 41-72

Pat Dennis

Feb. 28, 2007

vs. Georgia Southern

L, 46-62

Ed Conroy

March 4, 2011

vs. Elon

--

Chuck Driesell

 

HANDS DOWN, MAN DOWN: Austin Dahn has regained his shooting touch for The Citadel of late by knocking down 38-of-87 (43.7%) from the floor over the last 10 games. Dahn has provided the best 3-point shooting percentage (39.2%, 20-51) over that time by converting three or more 3-pointers on five separate occasions. Among the standout performances in the last 10 games include a Feb. 12 meeting with Elon, where Dahn finished 5-of-6 from the perimeter. That marked the eighth time in his career that the senior guard has hit five or more treys in a game.

MOUNTING THE COMEBACK: Last weekend, in its final regular season meeting with Western Carolina, The Citadel completed its largest second half comeback in program history. Trailing by 17 points at the intermission, which grew to a 21-point deficit at the 17:29 mark of the second half, the Dogs rallied to complete the 70-62 win. The 2010-11 squad topped a 16-point comeback that came against Wofford on Jan. 17, 2005. The victory over the Catamounts marked the ninth time in Citadel history that a team came from behind by double figures at halftime, on the road, to earn a win.

Date

Opponent

Halftime Deficit

Citadel Winning Margin

Feb. 24, 2011

at Western Carolina

17 points

70-62

Jan. 17, 2005

at Wofford

16 points

76-74

Dec. 20, 1980

vs South Carolina State!

14 points

66-65

Jan. 12, 1957

vs Furman

13 points

77-76

Jan. 31, 1991

vs Youngstown State

13 points

102-101

Feb. 10, 1976

vs Furman

12 points

76-74

Jan. 17, 1981

vs Western Carolina

12 points

61-59

Jan. 3, 2009

vs Bethune-Cookman

12 points

58-57

Feb. 25, 2006

at Wofford

12 points

84-80  OT

Feb. 17, 1951

at Stetson

11 points

63-61

Dec. 17, 1964

at Marshall

11 points

96-84

Feb. 22, 1989

at Davidson

11 points

88-87

Feb. 14, 1998

at Western Carolina

11 points

73-65  OT

Nov. 19, 1999

vs Limestone

11 points

68-66

Jan. 6, 1940

vs Erskine

10 points

40-30

Feb. 13, 1961

vs Virginia Military

10 points

91-83

Jan. 11, 1997

at East Tennessee State

10 points

63-56

Nov. 24, 2007

at Webber International

10 points

66-63

Nov. 26, 2007

vs Charleston Southern

10 points

76-73

Feb. 12, 2009

vs Appalachian State

10 points

78-73

       

!-Palmetto Classic (Columbia, S.C.)

   

SOLID PEDIGREE: The Citadel has squared off against seven teams rated in the top 100 of the RPI (Rating Percentage Index) this season. Five of those teams have gone on to win 20 or more games this season, including Richmond, James Madison, College of Charleston, Coastal Carolina and St. Mary's College (Md.). Four have gone on to collect wins against Associated Press Top 25 teams, led by Colorado who has three. Over the course of the season the Buffaloes have wins against (5) Texas, (9) Missouri and (21) Kansas State. Others with wins against AP Top 25 opposition include Clemson, Richmond and New Mexico.

RPI Rank

Team (Conference)

Overall/ Conference Record

Notes

63

Richmond (Atlantic-10)

22-7, 11-3

Won six of their last seven games in month of February

68

Clemson (Atlantic Coast)

19-9, 8-6

Wins against Miami and Wake Forest have moved Tigers to 5th in ACC

74

James Madison (Colonial)

21-10, 10-8

JMU heads to CAA Tournament with win over VCU in season finale

75

College of Charleston (Southern)

22-9, 14-4

Cougars have lost back-to-back games for first time this season

77

Colorado (Big XII)

18-11, 7-7

Rallied from 22 points down to defeat (5) Texas (Feb. 26)

90

New Mexico (Mountain West)

18-11, 6-8

Lobos snap a four-game losing streak at TCU, 80-70, last Saturday

96

Coastal Carolina (Big South)

26-4, 16-2

Had a 22-game winning streak snapped against Gardner-Webb

N/A

St. Mary's College (Md.) (Capital Athletic)

22-5, 14-2

Earned qualifier bid to the NCAA Division III Natonal Tournament

STACKING UP AGAINST SoCON TOURNAMENT OPPONENTS: The Citadel has appeared in a combined 36 SoCon Tournament games against current affiliated institutions, brandishing an 8-28 all-time record in that span. The Bulldogs previously played first round opponent Elon on only other occasion, falling to the Phoenix 66-56 in 2004.  The Dogs have met all but two schools in the tournament, UNC Greensboro and Wofford, dating back to the 1937 season.
 

SoCon School

The Citadel SoCon Tournament Record vs.

Appalachian State

3-6

Chattanooga

0-1

College of Charleston

0-1

Davidson

1-10

Elon

0-1

Furman

2-5

Georgia Southern

0-2

Samford

1-1

UNC Greensboro

0-0

Western Carolina

1-1

Wofford

0-0

ON THE OFFENSIVE: The Citadel has finished with double-digit offensive rebounds in 19 games this season, including 10 against Southern Conference opposition. Behind 71 offensive boards from Bryan Streeter's 71, the 2010-11 Bulldogs have managed 350 rebounds on the offensive glass, moving them to sixth most in program history. The Citadel has a 60-rebound advantage over its opposition on the offensive front. The Bulldogs high marks on the offensive glass came in a 20-rebound effort against Atlantic Coast Conference foe Clemson, when sophomore center Mike Groselle hauled in 10 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass.

PREVIEWING ELON (13-16 Overall, 7-11 SoCon)

SOLID DEFENSIVE EFFORT LIFTS PHOENIX (Feb. 26): A stifling Phoenix defense held the host Georgia Southern Eagles to only five second-half field goals as the Elon men's basketball team closed the regular season with a 72-57 victory in a foul-plagued Southern Conference contest at Hanner Fieldhouse.

In a game that featured 52 fouls and 34 turnovers, Elon (13-16, 7-11) overcame a three-point halftime deficit to earn its seventh league win of the year. The win was only Elon's third of the year when trailing at the break. The Phoenix held Georgia Southern (5-26, 1-17) to 29 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes of play, outscoring the Eagles, 43-25.

Elon clinched the No. 4 seed in the North Division for the upcoming Southern Conference Tournament. The Phoenix will face off against the South Division No. 5 seed The Citadel on Friday, March 4 in the 9:30 p.m. contest from McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The Phoenix had four players in double figures with junior Drew Spradlin's 16 points leading the way. The SoCon's leading shot-blocker Lucas Troutman dropped 14 points and swatted four shots. Senior point guard Chris Long contributed 12 points, added four rebounds and four assists while rookie Ryley Beaumont netted 11 points and grabbed a team-best six boards. Eric Ferguson led three Eagles in double figures with 16 points and eight rebounds prior to fouling out of the contest.

After lengthy field goal droughts by the Phoenix in the first half helped Georgia Southern to a 32-29 lead at the half, Terrance Birdette nailed a three-pointer that capped an 11-1 second half start for the visitors. Elon took a 40-33 advantage at the 15:26 mark and never looked back.

Georgia Southern's first field goal came with 13:55 on the clock and the Eagles only managed two more buckets over the next nine minutes. The fouls piled up in the rhythm-less game and the Phoenix continued to grow its lead, nailing 13-of-20 (65 percent) field goals in the last 20 minutes. A Spradlin jumper pushed the advantage to 68-50, marking Elon's biggest lead of the night with 3:01 remaining.

Elon shot at a 52 percent clip for the game, draining seven triples and 19-of-29 (65 percent) from the charity stripe. Despite the poor second half, the Eagles hit 50 percent of its field goals largely due to a 14-of-21 performance in the opening 20 minutes of action. The Phoenix had eight steals on 22 Georgia Southern turnovers, scoring 26 points off the miscues.

DAVIDSON UPENDS ELON, 83-75 (Feb. 24): Sophomore Nik Cochran exploded for a career-high 29 points — 24 in the second half — to help the host Davidson Wildcats pull out an 83-75 victory over the Elon Phoenix in a physical Southern Conference battle at Belk Arena on Thursday night. The guard came off the bench and nailed four critical late game three-pointers to help push the 'Cats (16-13, 9-8) over the hump. Elon (12-16, 6-11) had won two straight against Davidson prior to tonight's contest.

Neither team ever held a double-figure lead as the majority of the game was played with only a one-point margin. After a Cochran three ball produced the game's eighth tie of the evening, knotting the score at 52 with 10:22 on the clock, Davidson managed a stop on the defensive end of the floor. Wildcat senior JP Kuhlman built off the energy and hit all parts of the rim on a triple that gave the 'Cats a 55-52 advantage.

Elon would narrow the gap to a point twice before the Cochran show continued with another bucket from beyond the arc in the waning seconds of the shot clock to stretch the home team's lead to four, 60-56, with 8:08 to play. With 6:31 remaining and Davidson still holding a four-point edge, Kuhlman dropped a dagger from downtown to make the lead seven and shift momentum the 'Cats way.

The Phoenix remained undeterred and chipped away at the lead. Senior Chris Long took over, forcing a turnover under the Elon basket and turning an old-fashioned three-point play to put his team within one, 67-66, at the 5:19 mark. Long poured in 27 points, including 22 in the final period.

Unfortunately, Cochran wasn't finished as the guard scored seven of Davidson's next nine points, capped with a long ball with 2:01 on the clock to give the Wildcats a 76-69 advantage. It became a free throw contest as Elon tried to extend the game. Davidson nailed 7-of-8, six coming from Cochran, to close out the victory.

For more information on Bulldog Basketball, visit the official website of The Citadel Athletics at www.CitadelSports.com.



 

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