Game #9-289: Samford Bulldogs at The Citadel BulldogsJanuary 12, 2013 7:05 pm
McAlister Field House
College basketball is a game which is followed all throughout the nation. The sport is one which is popular in many facets. In the mid-major realm, the Missouri Valley Conference schools are probably the most popular. Their games air on television; several schools average over 10,000 per game; several schools there have followings bigger than many major conference schools.
Locally in South Carolina, Atlantic Coast Conference basketball is bigger than any other basketball team, even though the College of Charleston, Wofford, Coastal Carolina, and several other schools have proud basketball loyalties.
Like most of the Southeast, the sport of choice is college football. But this nation consumes professional football more than any other sport.
Many schools had their attendance halved because of the professional football playoffs and the warm weather. It was no exception in Charleston. After the game between the College of Charleston and Chattanooga (which was a Cougar blowout), I walked down King Street looking for a place to eat dinner.
One thing I noticed: every single restaurant had the football game on. It didn't matter if it was Mexican, Korean, or Chinese. There is a universal love for the NFL playoffs no matter where you go. The nation slows down when these games happen, and stops during the big football game at the end of the season held in a domed stadium.
I found a place to eat, then went to the Citadel game. This game was against Samford, a team which upset the College of Charleston on Thursday night in a shocker. Samford this year is much better than previous Bulldogs teams. Having already beaten Georgia Southern and the College of Charleston, two forces in the South Division, they look to battle for the North Division title.
On Thursday night, The Citadel lost in a very close one to Chattanooga. We had the usual small crowd at McAlister Field House, but there certainly was fireworks on the court. This was a fun game to watch. The Citadel was an underdog in this game, but they fought very hard throughout the first half. Samford got out to a ten-point lead at one time late in the half, but the game mostly remained within two possessions the entire half.
A small crowd of about 1,000 watched.
With 3:39 left in the half, it was 33-23 Samford. The Citadel went on a 8-2 run over the final 3:39 to cut their deficit to four at halftime, 35-31. The general admission section is on the press side at McAlister Field House.
During breaks and at halftime, Samford's radio color guy found a feed of the Ravens-Broncos game. The game was going through a great ebb and flow. During a quiet halftime, I was talking with a few Samford fans behind their bench when suddenly, I looked up at the little television and saw Joe Flacco throw the game-tying touchdown to Jacoby Jones in the final 30 seconds.
This was the scene at halftime.
The second half was an interesting one. The game stayed close throughout the half, even though my eyes (and most of the rest of the nation) were trained on the football game. This basketball game was a good one though. Neither group of Bulldogs could pull away in the second half. Until around the 8 minute mark, the game was around a five point margin or less.
Connor Miller made a 3 with 8:10 left for Samford which gave them a 59-51 lead. The Citadel however quickly cut the deficit to 59-57. This game remained close for the rest of the game. With 2:48 left, Ashton Moore made a 3 which cut the Samford lead to just 63-62. If The Citadel got a stop, then they would have a chance to take a lead.
Tim Williams was fouled though, and made both free throws, giving Samford a 65-62 lead. The Citadel made only one of their two free throws, making it a two-point lead for Samford; The Citadel never got any closer. Down 69-63 with :22 left, the Bulldogs took nearly the entire clock to get a layup from Mike Groselle. This cost them the game.
The Citadel gave a very good fight against Samford, who is a much better team than what the overall record shows. Even though the RPI shows they are 347th out of 347 teams in the nation, they didn't show it. The Citadel looks to have better showings later in conference.
SAMFORD 69, at THE CITADEL 65
SAMFORD 5-12 (3-1) -- R. Kelly 5-14 4-4 15; W. Cook 2-5 0-0 5; T. Williams 5-7 5-7 15; C. Miller 3-7 0-0 8; C. Geffrard Jr. 7-11 6-9 22; T. Hood 1-3 2-2 4; R. Wilson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-47 17-22 69.
THE CITADEL 3-11 (0-4) -- M. Van Scyoc 6-14 3-4 19; M. Harris III 4-11 1-2 12; M. Groselle 3-10 2-2 8; S. Elmore 2-4 0-0 5; A. Moore 2-3 0-0 6; J. Jenkins 0-1 0-0 0; D. Setzekorn 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 18-46 6-8 53.
Three-point goals: SAMF 6-13 (W. Cook 1-2; R. Kelly 1-2; C. Miller 2-6; C. Geffrard Jr. 2-3), CITA 11-24 (M. Harris 3-7; A. Moore 2-2; D. Setzekorn 1-3; S. Elmore 1-2; J. Jenkins 0-1; M. Van Scyoc 4-9); Rebounds: SAMF 27 (T. Williams 6), CITA 23 (M. Groselle 11); Assists: SAMF 10 (R. Kelly 7), CITA 15 (M. Harris 7); Total Fouls -- SAMF 14, CITA 12; Fouled Out: SAMF-None; CITA-None.