After The Citadel lost its fourth straight game, to Davidson on Saturday night, Citadel senior Mike Groselle said, “We have a gear we haven’t found yet.”
Groselle found that missing gear Wednesday night.
The Bulldogs’ 6-8 center scored 10 points in overtime and 16 of The Citadel’s final 20 in the game. And he threw in a game-saving block with four seconds left, lifting the Bulldogs to a 80-77 OT win at Appalachian State at the Holmes Center in Boone, N.C.
“We did not step on the brakes the whole game,” said Groselle, who finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds, the school-record 26th double-double of his career.
Freshman Matt Van Scyoc scored a career-best 24 points and P.J. Horgan added 10 points as the Bulldogs snapped that four-game skid to improve to 7-19 overall and 4-12 in Southern Conference basketball.
App State took a blow to its hopes for a first-round bye in the SoCon tournament, falling to 12-15 overall and 8-8 in the league.
“There was a lot of character involved tonight,” said Citadel coach Chuck Driesell. “We came in against a team that everybody figured would blow us out. We got stops in the second half when we needed them, and Mike Groselle did a great job. He has been challenged and he stepped up and did a great job.”
Groselle hit two free throws with 16 seconds left in regulation to force the extra session, then scored the Bulldogs’ final 10 points of the game.
The Citadel clung to a 78-77 lead in the final seconds when Groselle blocked a shot by App State’s Tevin Baskin. Groselle was fouled and made two free throws with four seconds left for the final margin.
Guard Marshall Harris had nine assists against only one turnover for The Citadel.
“I”m so proud of the guys, they’ve worked so hard,” Driesell said. “They knew it was us against the world tonight. They stayed together and battled. There were a few times they could have folded, but they kept battling.”
Tab Hamilton, Mike Neal and Baskin each scored 13 points for App State.
The Citadel plays an ESPN BracketBuster game Saturday at Presbyterian.
“If we can beat App State on the road, we can do some special things here as the season goes out,” Driesell said.