Blue Hose Complete 68-65 Win Over The Citadel in ESPN Ramada Worldwide Bracketbuster
Clinton, S.C. – Presbyterian College's Khalid Mutakabbir recorded a game-high 25 points as the Blue Hose earned a 68-65 victory over The Citadel in the ESPN Ramada Worldwide Bracketbuster game on Saturday evening.
Mutakabbir knocked down 9-of-18 from the floor and 3-of-7 from 3-point range to lead a Blue Hose offense that shot 25-of-53 (47.2%) from the field. He was joined in double figures by Eric Washington who tallied 11 points by virtue of hitting 4-of-4 from the field and 3-for-4 at the free throw line. Presbyterian also received solid individual outings from Joshua Clyburn and Ryan McTavish who crashed the boards for five rebounds apiece.
The Blue Hose (8-21) exploited its inside game to finish with a 36-30 advantage in points in the paint. PC also took advantage of McTavish's nine points in reserve to close with a 15-7 edge in bench points.
Senior Mike Groselle led four Citadel players with a team-high 15 points, hitting 5-of-9 from the field and 5-for-8 at the charity stripe. Also reaching double figures for The Citadel were P.J. Horgan (14 points), Marshall Harris III (12) and Matt Van Scyoc (10). The interior of Horgan and Groselle narrowly missed double-doubles as they posted nine rebounds apiece.
The Citadel (7-20) capitalized on its offensive possessions, finishing 20-of-38 (52.6%) from the floor. That marks the Cadets' 12th game this season of shooting better than 50 percent. The struggles came from the free throw line where the Dogs converted just 21-of-32 (65.6%).
Presbyterian enjoyed a five-point lead on two occasions in the first two minutes of the second half following a pair of Mutakabbir 3-pointers. The second trey, which came at the 18:08 mark, was followed by a Horgan layup and a Harris 3-pointer in less than a minute to pull The Citadel within 37-36 of the lead.
PC responded to the Bulldogs rally with a 10-1 run over the next 3:51 of the frame to extend its lead to 46-37 on a pair of Clyburn free throws.
A basket by Van Scyoc, bookended by a 3-pointer from Harris, highlighted a 6-2 Citadel run as the Bulldogs narrowed the deficit to 48-45 at the 11:35 mark.
The Blue Hose answered that run by scoring seven of the next nine points, including a 3-pointer by Mutakabbir, to move back in front by seven, 55-48.
The back-and-forth battle continued as The Citadel responded with seven straight points from Groselle, Horgan, Harris and Stephen Elmore to deadlock the game 55-55 with 7:55 on the clock.
Behind Mutakabbir's seven points the Blue Hose outscored the Dogs 9-2 over the next 3:57 of the contest to assume a 64-57 lead.
Raemond Robinson ended a two minute scoring drought by The Citadel with a jumper and after a turnover on PC's next possession Groselle found Horgan for a dunk to help trim the deficit to three, 64-61.
The Citadel eventually closed the deficit to one. 66-65, following a pair of Harris free throws, but it was two Austin Anderson conversions at the line that made for the 68-65 final. The win snaps a 10-game Citadel winning streak in the series dating back to Feb. 1, 1957.
The duo of Mutakabbir and Washington scored eight points apiece to give Presbyterian a narrow two point lead at the intermission. Washington finished a perfect 4-of-4 from the floor, while Mutakabbir closed the half by hitting 4-of-7 from the field for the Blue Hose. Those performances led to a 15-of-29 (51.7%) outing for PC in the opening frame.
Being held without a shot from beyond the perimeter, Presbyterian capitalized on a 26-16 advantage in points in the paint to establish its lead. The Blue Hose also capitalized on nine steals, including four by Austin Anderson, to close with a 6-2 edge in fast break points.
The Citadel offense was led by the trio of Van Scyoc (7 points), Groselle (6) and Horgan (6). Together they managed to hit 9-of-14 from the floor with all three players hitting three field goals in the half. Collectively the Dogs finished 11-of-19 (57.9%) from the floor and 2-of-5 (40%) from beyond the arc.
Led by Horgan's four rebounds, the Cadets climbed the glass for 13 rebounds (3 off.) to finish with a three-rebound advantage over PC.
Four points from Van Scyoc, including a layup on a pass from Horgan, and three off the hand of Robinson established an early 11-6 Citadel lead at the 14:09 mark.
Just over two minutes later Janeil Jenkins pushed the Dogs lead to seven on a fast break layup only to witness the Blue Hose put together an 8-0 run over a three minute stretch to assume the 16-13 lead.
A pair of Jenkins free throws quickly followed by a Groselle jumper forged The Citadel back in front, 17-16, with just over six minutes left.
As the two teams traded baskets over the next 2:07 of the contest neither was able to gain greater than a one point lead. Truss provided PC with some breathing, following a Citadel missed shot, with a layup at the 3:32 mark which stretched the advantage to 24-21.
A Van Scyoc 3-pointer highlighted the final seven Citadel points of the first half as the Bulldogs entered the locker room facing a 30-28 deficit.
The Bulldogs return to McAlister Field House for their final home game of the season against Furman on Thursday, Feb. 28. The Citadel will honor seniors Mike Groselle and Stephen Elmore during a pre-game ceremony before taking on the Paladins at 7:05 p.m.