Game #9-265: Western Carolina Catamounts at The Citadel BulldogsJanuary 5, 2013 7:05 pm
McAlister Field House
Saturday's game between The Citadel and Western Carolina would not be just another game for me and it was not because it was a conference game. It would be my 100th game contributing for The Mid-Majority. It may have not been in a whole season, but I have gotten to that number nonetheless.
It still amazes that I went from a season ticket-holder for a team below the Red Line to a frequent traveler throughout the Carolinas to see any mid-major basketball I can within time and reason. Three-and-a-half hour drives are becoming the norm at least once a week these days.
I had no intentions at the beginning of TMM8 to venture off to as many games as I did. When I started making road trips to Charleston and Wilmington I immediately became hooked from the fun of going to games and new places. I started planning games around trips to see friends and family in Michigan and New England. In following so many games, I stopped becoming a steadfast fan of particular teams and started appreciating the whole game of basketball.
I also wanted to get to as many games because I had been a big fan of the Mid-Majority for years. I really wanted us to reach the goal of getting to 800 games and was willing to do whatever it took to help that number rise throughout the season. When we finally reached that goal I was glad to be a part of it.
Season 9 has set a different drive and set of goals for me. With the whole team concept this year the original motivation was help out my team the best I could and shoot for first place. Raymond Curren
and his extraordinary work this year along with his team the Hickory Picket Fences has made much of that goal a moot point for Under a Blood Red Line.
So what is the point of still going to as many of the games that I can? The answer to that is simple - because it is fun and I still really enjoy the whole experience. There are the cities, the food, the beer, the new people that you get to meet, the games themselves. What is not to like about it?
There is also a goal to try to convey something new to anyone that may read one of my recaps. We all know how hard it is to get any sort of coverage for teams below the Red Line. That is why if there is any way I could inform someone about one thing, be it a game, a team, a player, a city, a halftime show, whatever it may be that otherwise would have never been noted; then I feel like I am accomplishing something.
With that in mind, that is why I should focus on my 100th game itself. I found it appropriate that my 100th game would be one at The Citadel, the team that is currently ranked last in the RPI. The Bulldogs' opponents, Western Carolina, were not faring that much better on the season with a 4-9 record, but two of those wins had come in conference. WCU was coming off a home loss to Liberty and had lost four of five, leaving me to believe that The Citadel had a decent chance to keep it close despite losing seven in a row.
I had seen a game in Columbia earlier in the day and took I-26 down to Charleston which is a straight shot that lasts around 90 minutes. Despite going to Charleston several times and having some familiarity with the roads down there, I was still getting frustrated with the one-way streets and lack of parking throughout the downtown area. After two unsuccessful attempts at trying to get a seat at packed restaurants, I settled on going to the Tattooed Moose. This dive bar with refined food ended up being a solid choice. I had two Miller High Lifes, two homemade jumbo corndogs and bacon bleu cheese coleslaw for $7.27 which will probably make the Moose a new favorite for me before Citadel games.
Winter break is almost over, but there are a few days left to go for some schools including The Citadel meaning there would be no cheerleaders, cadets, or band. The one thing that did show up was the hair on the head of the freshmen players that was shaved off when I had seen them earlier in the season.
When both teams hit their first shots, I thought I would be in for good offensive performance. That was quickly dashed as they then combined to go 1-for-11 leading into the first media timeout. The offense for the Catamounts settled down when The Citadel started looking very disorganized in their zone defense. Defenders seemed to be out of place as Western Carolina would either be hitting the cutters for easy scores or shooting over the top with Tom Tankelewicz's threes.
The Citadel would hit the occasional three, but could not find anything down low for leading scorer and rebounder Mike Groselle. WCU double- and triple-teamed him any time he touched the ball, giving him no room to operate. The Catamounts were out-executing in every aspect of the game which led them to a comfortable 36-25 halftime lead.
The second half saw a lot better output from the Bulldogs. Western Carolina was maintaining the lead, but not able to pull away. Threes from Matt Van Scyoc and Marshall Harris III had the lead down to six on separate occasions. Tankelewicz would end up drilling back-to-back superhoops to end the comeback though. Western Carolina ended up pulling away late and up with a 17 point win.
Not exactly a thriller in my 100th game, but it is not as if I haven't seen my fair share of great games out of that 100. I hope to get to as many games as I can this year. While winning The Game may be out of reach this season, I will still look forward to any chance I can get to help people out there discover Our Game.
WESTERN CAROLINA 72, at THE CITADEL 55
WESTERN CAROLINA 5-9 (3-0) -- T. Sumler 6-15 4-4 17; T. King 3-8 3-4 9; T. Tankelewicz 5-10 0-0 14; B. Boggs 4-8 2-2 10; J. Sinclair 2-5 0-0 4; P. Ross 5-7 1-4 11; M. Brown 1-3 0-0 3; J. Mendenhall 1-1 0-0 2; K. Hall 0-0 0-0 0; R. Harrelson 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 27-57 12-16 72.
THE CITADEL 3-9 (0-2) -- M. Groselle 4-5 0-0 8; M. Harris III 2-7 4-4 10; A. Moore 2-8 0-0 5; Q. Marshall 2-5 0-0 4; M. Van Scyoc 2-8 0-0 5; S. Elmore 1-2 0-0 2; D. Setzekorn 1-3 1-2 3; J. Jenkins 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 15-40 5-6 39.
Three-point goals: WCU 6-15 (T. Tankelewicz 4-9; T. Sumler 1-3; B. Boggs 0-1; J. Sinclair 0-1; M. Brown 1-1), CITA 4-17 (M. Harris 2-4; A. Moore 1-6; Q. Marshall 0-2; M. Van Scyoc 1-5); Rebounds: WCU 30 (P. Ross 10), CITA 12 (P. Horgan 8); Assists: WCU 12 (T. Sumler 6), CITA 12 (M. Groselle 3); Total Fouls -- WCU 10, CITA 12; Fouled Out: WCU-None; CITA-None.