Citadel Basketball Returns to Action on Saturday at Gardner-Webb
CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Citadel basketball team makes its return to the hardwoods on Saturday evening at Paul Porter Arena when the Bulldogs head to Boiling Springs, N.C., for their first-ever meeting with Gardner-Webb at 7 p.m.
The Citadel (3-4, 0-1 SoCon) is in the midst of its five-game December road trip and looking to snap a two-game losing streak following losses to UNCG and Charleston Southern.
FOURTH OF FIVE: The meeting with Gardner-Webb marks the fourth first-time opponent on The Citadel's 2012-13 schedule, following meetings with Montreat, Union (Ky.) and Radford. The lone remaining opponent on the schedule without a previous history is St. Bonaventure, who the Bulldogs clash with on Dec. 19.
The Bulldogs are 2-1 so far this season in games against first time opponents with wins over Montreat (62-45) and Union (92-50) as well as a 74-61 loss to Radford.
DOUBLE-DIGIT BOARDS IN FIRST CAREER START: Against Charleston Southern, graduate student Stephen Elmore posted a game-high 12 rebounds, grabbing 10 on the defensive glass.
Elmore, with 17 rebounds to his credit before playing the Buccaneers, became the first player since Joe Wolfinger in the 2009-10 season to haul in double-digit rebounds in his first career start for the Bulldogs. Wolfinger accomplished the feat when he finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds on Nov. 13, 2009.
MOORE PRODUCTION: Sophomore guard Ashton Moore has earned 16 starting nods over his career in a Bulldogs uniform, hitting four or more shots from the field in seven of those starts.
Moore began the trend when he scored 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting in his very first start against College of Charleston (Dec. 1, 2011). Two nights later he posted 13 points after hitting 5-of-9 from the floor against Wofford.
The Suffolk, Va., native capped off the 2011-12 season with three more games of four field goals or more as a starter, including his career-high 30 point outing against UVA-Wise (Jan. 2) where he finished 10-of-16 on the night.
After producing 35 points for Chuck Driesell's bench this season, Moore returned to the starting lineup in grand fashion when he scored 11 points, all in the second half, by virtue of hitting 5-of-14 from the floor at UNC Greensboro on Dec. 1. Three days later he finished as one of five Citadel players in double figures against Charleston Southern, notching 12 points after hitting 5-for-11 from the field.
AGAINST THE CURRENT BIG SOUTH: When The Citadel squares off against Gardner-Webb it will mark the final contest for the Bulldogs against Big South Conference competition this season. The Dogs hold a 134-103 (.565 winning percentage) all-time record against the current 12 teams that make up the conference.
Following its meeting with Gardner-Webb, The Citadel will have gone head-to-head with all but one Big South Conference member, Longwood, over the course of the 101-year history of the program.
BREAKING DOWN GARDNER-WEBB (6-5 Overall/0-0 Big South)
RUNNIN' BULLDOGS POST 61-41 WIN OVER TENNESSEE TECH: Tashan Newsome scored a season-high 27 points and Gardner-Webb's defensive pressure held Tennessee Tech 31 points below its season scoring average in a 61-41 win for the Runnin' Bulldogs.
Newsome made 8-of-12 shots, pulled down eight rebounds made several early buckets to set the tone for Gardner-Webb (6-5) early. Donta Harper added 11 points and three blocked shots and Jerome Hill pitched in six points off the bench and led the defensive effort by taking five charges.
Tennessee Tech (5-4) came into the game averaging 72.2 points per game, but ran into a defensive-minded Gardner-Webb squad that forced 15 turnovers and held the Golden Eagles to a frigid night from the floor (14-of-48, 29.2 percent).
All-OVC guard Jud Dillard (20.4 ppg) finished the game just 2-of-12 for seven points. Reserve Matt Marseille was the lone player for the Golden Eagles in double figures with 10 points.
Gardner-Webb shot 43.1 percent from the floor (22-of-51), made 12-of-15 free throws (80.0 percent) and out rebounded Tennessee Tech 37-30. GWU held a 14-4 edge in second-chance points, a 10-0 advantage in transition scoring and a 21-5 margin in points off of turnovers.