Feb. 18, 2010
Charleston, S.C. - A pair of four-minute scoring droughts - one in each half - proved costly as Western Carolina stumbled on the road in Southern Conference action Thursday night. Cosmo Morabbi was perfect from beyond the 3-point arc, nailing all five of his 3-pointers for a game-high 16 points to lead four Bulldogs in double figures as The Citadel downed Western Carolina, 73-56, at the McAlister Fieldhouse.
The Citadel, which won its fifth-straight overall, shot 10-of-17 (59%) from beyond the 3-point arc in the game including hitting its first five treys in the second half en route to 7-of-10 shooting from long range after intermission.
Leading by 11 midway through the first half, Western Carolina (19-9, 9-7 SoCon) missed its next four shots from the floor and committed four turnovers as the Bulldogs erased the Catamounts largest lead of the game and managed a one-point, 26-25, edge with a 12-0 run.
WCU led at the break by one, 33-32.
Bulldog freshman Harrison DuPont scored the first nine points out of the locker room for The Citadel as the two squads traded the lead back-and-forth three times and were tied three times in the opening four minutes of the second half. However, knotted at 41, WCU missed its next four shots and additionally committed three turnovers as The Citadel scored 10-straight points, including six by Morabbi, to reclaim a lead it would relinquish.
Western Carolina would only manage to trim the Bulldog lead into single-digits twice over the final 11 minutes as The Citadel pulled out to a game-high 17-point lead on an Austin Dahn 3-pointer in the final 30 seconds in the winning effort.
Brigham Waginger was the lone Catamount to reach double figures, finishing with 12 points on 3-of-7 shooting including three 3-pointers and a trio of free throws. The South Webster, Ohio, native finished with a pair of steals and just one assist as WCU shot just 34-percent from the field.
Mike Williams just missed double digits with nine points while Richie Gordon added seven and five boards with Kendall Russell scoring six points and recording a team-best six rebounds.
All told, WCU's top four seasonal scorers entering the game were held to combined 17 points on 5-of-28 shooting in road loss.
Morabbi was joined in double figures by Zach Urbanus with 14 points while Cameron Wells added 13 on just 5-of-13 shooting, but both adding five assists. DuPont posted a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulldogs.
Western Carolina concludes the road portion of its 2009-10 regular season this Saturday as it travels to Kent, Ohio to face Kent State as a part of the ESPN BracketBuster. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU with tip-off set for 8:00 pm. O'Malley's Pub & Grill of Sylva will host a Catamount party to watch the broadcast on their big screen televisions.
- Western Carolina dropped its third-straight to The Citadel Bulldogs after being swept a season ago and falling in the lone regular season meeting this year on Thursday night ... WCU has lost four of the last five in the head-to-head series with the Bulldogs;
- WCU has lost four of its last six games overall in the month of February;
- WCU remains at 19 wins on the season, still looking for its first 20-win season as a NCAA Division I program ... Western Carolina has nine 20-win seasons all-time with its most recent coming in 1971-72;
- Western Carolina still maintains a magic number of one to clinch a first-round bye with a top two finish in the SoCon's North Division ... One more WCU SoCon win OR one conference loss by Chattanooga would lock WCU into the top two from the North Division and would allot the Catamounts a first round bye;
- The Catamounts still have an outside chance of earning the SoCon's North Division ... To win the division out right, WCU would need to win out (at home against Samford and Chattanooga) and for Appalachian State to lose all of its three remaining contests (at Elon and at home against both Chattanooga and Samford) ... Two Appalachian State losses coupled with two Western Carolina wins would mean the two would share the North Division crown with ASU garnering the top seed after sweeping the regular season ... If ASU wins two or more games OR if WCU drops one, the Mountaineers would win the North outright;
- Senior Brandon Giles had his five-game double-digit scoring streak snapped on Thursday night after being held scoreless for the first time this season - and for the first time since his sophomore season when he did not score on 0-of-5 shooting at No. 13 Indiana, a span of 77 games ... Following his last scoreless outing, Giles ran off a streak of 20-straight, double-digit scoring efforts including tallying 20-or-more points nine times.