Charleston, S.C. – The Citadel's Mike Groselle tallied 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lift the Bulldogs to a 68-57 victory over Furman in Southern Conference men's basketball action on Thursday night at McAlister Fieldhouse.
With its ninth consecutive loss, Furman fell to 6-22 overall and 3-14 in the SoCon. The defeat locked the Paladins into the No. 12 seed for next week's SoCon Men's Basketball Championships where Furman will face the No. 5 seed in a 2 p.m. first round contest on March 8, at U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, N.C.
Furman held a 15-14 lead with under eight minutes remaining in the first half when Matt Van Scyoc ignited a 21-7 run with a dunk as The Citadel fashioned a 30-22 halftime advantage and stretched its lead to 35-22 on the freshman's three-pointer with 18:55 left in the game.
Furman trailed by as many as 14 points in the second half before Bobby Austin and Bryant Irwin combined to drain three triples in a span of four possessions as the Paladins trimmed the deficit to 48-46 with 8:51 to play. The Citadel, however, held Furman to just three field goals the rest of the way while claiming its second regular season sweep of the Paladins since 2000-01.
The Bulldogs (8-20, 5-12 SoCon) shot 45% from the field and committed just 11 turnovers on the night. Groselle connected on 12-of-17 field goal attempts to pace three Bulldogs in double figures as Dylen Setzekorn and P.J. Horgan added 11 points apiece.
Freshman Larry Wideman, a Loris, S.C., native, led Furman with 17 points while senior Colin Reddick posted his third double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Bryant Irwin buried 3-of-4 beyond the three-point arc to add 12 points.
The Paladins shot just 38% from the field despite making 8-of-20 three-point tries and holding a 35-34 edge on the glass.
Furman caps its regular season when it hosts the College of Charleston Cougars Saturday afternoon on YP.com Court at Timmons Arena. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. and the Paladins will honor their three seniors prior to the trio's final home contest.
Saturday's game will be the 81st meeting between Furman and College of Charleston with the Paladins leading the all-time series 41-39. The Cougars, who enter Thursday's game versus Wofford at 20-9 overall and 12-4 in the league, have won 28 of the last 32 contests against the Paladins. CofC claimed a 60-56 victory over Furman in Charleston, S.C., on January 5, despite a career-best 25 points from Reddick.
Furman fans can follow all the action with play-by-play voice Dan Scott on WOLT-FM 103.3, WGOG-FM 96.3 and through Stretch Audio at www.FurmanPaladins.com.
The "All-Inclusive Ticket" is available for Saturday's regular season finale by visiting www.FurmanPaladins.com or by visiting the Furman Ticket Office at Timmons Arena.