Dogs must rebound in order to rebound

Bryan Streeter (left) and Cameron Wells (right) lead The Citadel in rebounding this season.

Ed Conroy didn't take it too hard when UNC Greensboro's Ben Stywall put up a double-double in a 59-53 win over his Citadel basketball team on Saturday.

After all, the 6-5, 220-pound Stywall -- who had 19 points and 14 rebounds against the Bulldogs -- averaged a double-double in six games against the mighty ACC this season.

"Sometimes you have to credit a really good performance," the Bulldogs coach said Tuesday. "And Ben was terrific. He went to work and grabbed some rebounds that really weren't his, that were out of his area."

Still, the Bulldogs' work on the glass is an area of concern as they wrap up the regular season with games at Furman tonight and at Wofford on Saturday.

The Citadel (15-13, 9-7 in the Southern Conference) needs to rebound if it hopes to rebound from Saturday's loss and clinch a second straight winning regular season and a No. 3 seed in next week's SoCon Tournament.

"We were not happy with the second half of our last game," Conroy said. "It was maybe our worst stretch of rebounding on the defensive end that we've had, at least for a 10-minute stretch of the second half."

UNC Greensboro dominated the boards against The Citadel, with a 41-24 edge in rebounding, a 15-6 margin on the offensive glass and a 14-6 advantage in second-chance points. In the second half, those numbers were 23-9, 8-1 and 8-0.

With 6-6 junior Bryan Streeter the Bulldogs' tallest starter, The Citadel usually faces a size deficit, but has usually held its own under the boards against SoCon foes.

In conference games, the Bulldogs rank seventh out of 12 teams in offensive rebounds (11 per game), eighth in defensive rebound percentage (68.2) and sixth in offensive rebound percentage (32.5).

Again in SoCon games, guard Cameron Wells (6.4), Streeter (5.8) and forward Harrison DuPont (5.2) all rank in the top 17 in rebounds per game.

"Our guys know we have to do a better job on the defensive boards," Conroy said. "They've realized the importance of that all year and we have been decent all year, even though we are usually outsized."

Against Furman (12-15, 6-10), the Bulldogs face another middle-of-the-pack rebounding team. In SoCon games, 6-6 forward Amu Saaka averages 16.6 points and 7.8 rebounds, the only player in the top six in both categories.

Saaka had 19 points and four rebounds in a 70-60 loss to The Citadel on Jan. 23, a game in which the Bulldogs owned a 37-30 edge on the glass and an 18-9 margin on the offensive boards.

The Citadel is tied with Davidson for third place in the South Division with 9-7 records. The Wildcats finish with games against UNC Greensboro and Elon, and own a tiebreaker edge over the Bulldogs due to their season sweep of The Citadel.

TODAY'S GAME

Who: The Citadel at Furman

When: 7 p.m.

Where: Timmons Arena, Greenville