The Citadel has played its best basketball on the road this season, including a narrow loss at Georgia and then two Division I wins on a three-game, 2,700-mile road trip last week.
The Bulldogs are trying to bring some of that mojo home to McAlister Field House before their Southern Conference opener next week against East Tennessee State. With a short bench, The Citadel won at home for the first time this season on Tuesday, blowing out D-III Brevard by 90-47.
Eddie Davis III got his first double-double in 104 college games with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and freshman Fletcher Abee also scored 15 for the Bulldogs, who are 3-4 after starting the season with three straight losses.
The Citadel sandwiched wins at Southeast Missouri State and Marist around a loss at Illinois in the span of five days last week, but the grueling road trip took its toll.
Top scorer Hayden Brown injured his hamstring at SEMO and was out against Brevard (0-5), and freshmen guards Jackson Gammons and Rudy Fitzgibbons and junior forward Alex Reed also were sidelined with a variety of ailments.
"We've really had some attrition in players, when you travel as many miles as we did," said coach Duggar Baucom. "That trip was a long one and we lost some guys along the way ... But the road trip was huge for us, and we got contributions from lots of different people.
"It really took everybody, and we got closer as a team. You get away, you eat a lot of meals together and a lot of crazy bus rides, so you get to be around the kids more than normal."
With four regulars out, freshmen post players Brady Spence and Stephen Clark got their most extensive action of the season. The 6-9 Spence hit 5 of 7 shots and scored 13 points with 10 rebounds for his first college double-double, and the 6-9 Clark was 3 of 4 for six points.
Point guard Tyson Batiste and forward Kaelon Harris, also banged up, were able to play, and Harris scored 11 points in 22 minutes. Sophomore point guard Jerry Higgins III had five assists and three steals in 23 minutes.
"I just wanted to get through this game and get the young guys some playing time," Baucom said. "I was pleased with how Jerry played, and we got Kaelon and Tyson through it. Now we've got eight days to heal before ETSU, and hopefully we'll be at full strength by the time they come around."
Davis, the 6-7 transfer from Hartford and Southern Miss, averaged 7.8 points and 5 rebounds in the first six games.
"He was vital to us on that trip, made big plays and stepped out and made 3-pointers," Baucom said. "His progression has been great."
ETSU comes to McAlister on Dec. 4 for the Bulldogs' SoCon opener, followed by home games against Carver and Piedmont.
Ja'Michael Boone led Brevard with 16 points, hitting 4 of 5 from 3-point range. The Citadel was just 7 of 27 from long distance (25.9 percent), but had a 58-18 edge in points in the paint.