THE CITADE L 91, VIRGINIA-WISE 74
A couple of weeks ago, it looked like Cosmo Morabbi's final college basketball season might slip quietly away.
Morabbi, the only senior on The Citadel's team, lost his spot in the starting lineup and played only six minutes in an 22-point loss at Coastal Carolina on Dec. 6, the mid-point of an eight-game losing streak.
But over the holidays, Morabbi has revived his season.
The product of Beverly Hills (Calif.) High School hit 7 of 12 shots for a career-high 17 points Monday night, coupling with 30 from freshman Ashton Moore to lead the Bulldogs to a 91-74 win over Virginia-Wise at McAlister Field House, snapping that eight-game skid.
"You get down, you get frustrated," said Morabbi, who was a freshman on The Citadel's 20-win team in 2008-09 and considered transferring after ex-coach Ed Conroy left for Tulane in 2010. "But I tried to keep going hard in practice and keeping getting better. That's all you can do."
Morabbi hit 4 of 5 shots and scored 10 points in a 70-58 loss at Denver before Christmas, then returned to the starting lineup and scored seven points in an 86-55 loss at Tennessee. Consistent production from the team's only senior is huge for second-year coach Chuck Driesell, who starts two freshmen and played two more in his eight-man rotation against Virginia-Wise.
"He's earned it," said Driesell, whose team is 3-10. "A lot of teams we face have some mature guys, and it's hard to compete against that sometimes. It's nice to have a senior who can keep us composed, and it's nice to have him playing well. It'd be huge for us if he continues to play like that."
Moore, the knob from Suffolk, Va., hit 10 of 16 shots (3 of 4 from 3-point range) and made 7 of 8 free throws for his career-best 30. He is the first Bulldog to score at least 30 in a game since Cameron Wells had 30 in an overtime win against Appalachian State on Feb. 12, 2009.
Mike Groselle had 19 points and 13 rebounds (the 16th double-double of his career) and DeVontae Wright scored 13 as the Bulldogs turned in one of their best offensive games of the season.
The Bulldogs begin Southern Conference play on Thursday at Furman.