CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Chattanooga's Gee McGhee scored a team-high 22 points and led five players in double figures as the Mocs completed the season sweep of The Citadel following an 89-76 victory in Thursday night Southern Conference action at McKenzie Arena.
McGhee capped off his season-high in points after hitting 8-of-12 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line. Joining McGhee in double figures were Ronrico White (19 points), Drazen Zlovaric (18), Z. Mason (14) and Martynas Bareika (12). Those five led a Chattanooga unit that finished 34-of-65 (52.3%) from the floor and drained 6-of-14 (42.9%) from the perimeter.
The Mocs (9-14, 4-6 SoCon) put on a dominating performance in the post, outscoring The Citadel 52-38 in points in the paint, while capitalizing on 16 Bulldog turnovers with 23 points. The combination of Zlovaric and McGhee tied for a team-high seven rebounds.
Sophomore P.J. Horgan continued his outstanding play for The Citadel, establishing a new career-high (25 points) after hitting 7-of-8 from the field and converting 10-of-12 from the free throw line. Horgan climbed the glass for 10 rebounds, including three offensive, to post his second double-double in three games. Frontcourt running mate Mike Groselle also reached double figures, scoring 19 points to go along with seven rebounds.
The Bulldogs (6-16, 3-9) got a lift off the bench from rookie Raemond Robinson who broke a five-game scoreless streak by hitting a trio of 3-pointers to go along with five assists. His assists were four off a game-high nine, distributed by Citadel guard Marshall Harris III.
Chattanooga extended to its seven-point halftime lead to 57-43 following a 13-6 run to open the second half, highlighted by six points from Mason and a long distance 3-pointer by White.
The Mocs used that momentum as they pushed the lead to 61-45 after a Bareika trey at the 14:49 mark.
Horgan singlehandedly scored the next four Citadel points and following an old-fashioned three-point play by Groselle, The Citadel trimmed the deficit to 63-52 with just over 12 minutes remaining.
Free throws by Janeil Jenkins and a layup by Horgan were the lone Citadel points in a 7-4 run by the Mocs that stretched the lead to 70-58 with 9:45 left in the half.
The Chattanooga lead ballooned to 14 points on three occasions over the next 1:46 of the contest before consecutive layups by Groselle and Stephen Elmore brought the Dogs within striking distance at 76-66.
Robinson followed a series of White free throws with his third 3-pointer of the game, making for a 78-69 margin with 5:18 on the clock.
The Citadel narrowed the gap to eight, 80-72, after a pair of Horgan free throws at the 4:01 mark, but would draw no closer as Chattanooga completed its sixth victory of the season.
The Citadel offense hit 56.1 percent (13-23) from the floor in the opening half, highlighted by a pair of double figure outings by Horgan (12 points) and Groselle (10). Horgan was a perfect 3-of-3 from the field and added six free throws to go along with eight rebounds. Groselle knocked down 5-of-8 from the floor and climbed the glass for four rebounds.
Chattanooga countered with an 18-of-35 (51.4%) performance, knocking down 4-of-7 beyond the arc to send the two teams into the intermission with a 44-37 lead.
Zlovaric led all scorers with 14 points in the frame, converting 7-of-11 in the low post, as Chattanooga held a 24-18 advantage in points in the paint. He was joined by White who tacked on 12 points after hitting 4-of-7 from the field and 2-of-3 from beyond the arc.
Zlovaric was the primary source of offense for the Mocs in the early going of the game as he drove the lane for 10 of the team's first 17 points. The Citadel also relied heavily on its inside scoring, which included six points from Groselle and three from Horgan, as it trailed 17-9 at the 14:32 mark.
Horgan sent home a free throw to put the Dogs into double figures and including a 3-pointer by Van Scyoc, The Citadel outscored Chattanooga 8-2 over the next 2:26 of the game to draw within 19-17 of the lead.
A 3-pointer by Bareika, followed by a Zlovaric layup, provided the Mocs with a seven-point cushion, 24-17, with 11:46 left in the half.
Trailing by as many as nine, The Citadel took advantage of Groselle's inside game and long distance shooting by Robinson, who converted a 3-pointer at the 9:07 mark, to pull within 29-24.
Just over two minutes later Robinson connected on his second trey of the half to make for a 33-29 Chattanooga lead. Following a missed layup by Zlovaric, Van Scyoc hit a jumper from the right wing to trim the margin to two.
Behind two 3-pointers from White and one off the hand of McGhee the Mocs closed out the final 5:29 of the first half on a 12-6 run. The Citadel answered with a pair of free throws by Horgan and Van Scyoc along with a layup by Stephen Elmore to trail by seven at the intermission.