Charleston Southern 88,The Citadel 69
After Kelvin Martin threw down a dunk to give Charleston Southern a 16-point lead over The Citadel on Wednesday night, he sprinted up the court and let out a happy "Wooooo!"
It was a fun night for the Buccaneers as six scored in double figures during an 88-69 rout of the Bulldogs before 1,129 fans at McAlister Field House.
CSU (6-3), which has won three straight and eight of 10 against The Citadel (2-7), took advantage of the Bulldogs' porous defense to shoot 61.3 percent in the second half and 54.4 percent for the game.
"Our offensive execution was terrific," said CSU coach Barclay Radebaugh, who got 19 points from freshman guard Arlon Harper and a double-double (13 points, 17 rebounds) from senior Kelvin Martin. "We shared the ball and ran down the floor with purpose.
"We got a lot of easy shots for ourselves. We didn't have to create a lot of shots; we created shots for our teammates, and I praise my team for that. They were terrific on the offensive end."
Citadel coach Chuck Driesell has seen too many such performances from opposing teams. During the Bulldogs' current five-game skid, foes are averaging 82.6 points and shooting a remarkable 60.2 percent inside the 3-point arc. It's the first time The Citadel has given up 80-plus points in five straight games since 2005-06.
CSU scored 44 points in the paint, following up 42 from Coastal Carolina, 34 from College of Charleston and 46 by High Point against the Bulldogs.
"I was disappointed in how we defended tonight, I really was," Driesell said. "But I think these guys are too, and that's a good sign."
The Bulldogs tried some 2-3 zone, but CSU shot 9 of 21 from 3-point range to nullify that strategy. Playing at a relatively quick pace (68 shots for each team), the Bulldogs allowed 1.29 points per possession. By comparison, VMI is allowing 1.24 points per possession this season, worst in Division I.
"It's five guys working together -- it's not just one guy," Driesell said. "That's something we've got to learn, that it's team defense, not just individual defense."
The Bulldogs are trying to pressure the ball, but made only four steals while forcing just 11 CSU turnovers.
Said center Mike Groselle: "Teams are getting some uncontested drives on us. We're not really protecting the paint, and teams are getting a lot of points in the paint. It's the team's responsibility. It's not one individual making a bad play, it's the team. We've got to put more effort into defense than offense."
The Bulldogs, led by 18 points from Ashton Moore, actually played some of their best ball of the season for the first 15 minutes, taking a 33-26 lead. But as CSU turned up the heat in its press and 1-3-1 trap, the Bulldogs crumbled down the stretch, missing all seven shots with six turnovers during a 17-0 CSU run to end the half and turn the game.
"They ended up just playing harder for us," said Groselle, who had 15 points. "They came at us, and we backed down."
--Forward Bo Holston (knee) did not play for The Citadel. He should be ready for Monday's game at James Madison, Driesell said.
--CSU guard Saah Nimley hit his head on the floor in the first half and left the game, but was able to return in the second half.
--CSU had six players in double figures for the first time this season.