Asheville, N.C. – Western Carolina's Trey Sumler scored a game-high 27 points to move the Catamounts into the quarterfinal round of the 2013 Southern Conference Tournament following a 76-61 victory over The Citadel at the U.S. Cellular Center.
Sumler finished 10-of-15 from the floor and knocked down three 3-pointers to anchor a Western Carolina (14-18) offense that finished 28-of-55 (50.9%) from the field. Sumler was joined in double figures by the tandem of James Sinclair (14 points) and Tom Tankelewicz (11). Meanwhile, teammate Tawaski King controlled the glass with eight rebounds (five offensive) as the Catamounts finished with a 37-35 edge on the boards.
The Citadel offense was highlighted by pair 13-point outings by Mike Groselle and Matt Van Scyoc. Groselle capped off his Bulldogs career with 1,359 points, placing him in seventh on The Citadel's all-time scoring list. He also hauled in six rebounds, two off P.J. Horgan's team-high eight, to close in second with 738 boards. The highly effective Groselle finished 5-of-8 from the floor and 3-of-5 from the free throw line, while Van Scyoc closed the game hitting 5-of-10 from the field and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc.
The Citadel (8-22) closed out the contest hitting 26-of-59 (44.1%) from the field and converted six of those field goals from beyond the perimeter. The Dogs finished with a 34-26 edge in points in the paint and took advantage of 10 Catamount turnovers to hold score 13 points. Behind eight points from Quinton Marshall and seven off the hand of Dylen Setzekorn, the Cadets capped off the game with a 20-15 advantage in bench points.
A pair of 3-pointers within the first 2:33 of the second half by Sinclair and Tankelewicz pushed a nine-point WCU lead at the half to 44-20.
The Citadel retaliated by with seven unanswered points, including five by Raemond Robinson, trimming the deficit to 44-37 at the 14:59 mark.
Western Carolina held the Bulldogs scoreless over the next 2:17 and behind a 3-pointer from Sumler stretched the margin back to 14.
The Citadel continued to chip away at the deficit and behind four points from Marshall and two each from Groselle and Horgan the Bulldogs were within 55-47 with 8:22 remaining.
That proved to be the last time that the game was in single digits as 10 points from five different Catamount players over a span of 4:24 doubled the Western Carolina lead to 67-51.
The Bulldogs managed just 10 points over the final 2:58 of the contest, highlighted by three each from Groselle and Van Scyoc, as they closed out the 2012-13 campaign with a 76-61 loss to the Catamounts.
Despite being shackled by three fouls, Van Scyoc led the Bulldogs in scoring with seven points, hitting 3-of-5 from the field and 1-of-2 from beyond the arc. He was joined by Setzekorn, who added five points off the bench, connecting on 2-of-3 from the floor.
The Citadel closed the first half hitting 11-of-39 (37.9%) from the field, knocking down three 3-pointers along the way. The Cadets climbed the boards for 19 rebounds, snagging eight on the offensive end to tie Western Carolina 8-8 in second chance points. Another bright spot for the Bulldogs was eight assists, including five from Marshall Harris III.
Western Carolina took advantage of 15 first half points by Sumler to establish a 34-25 leading at the intermission. Sumler connected on 7-of-10 field goals, but was limited to one from long distance. He was the catalyst a Catamount offense that knocked down 14-of-28 (50%) from the floor.
The inside combination of King and Mike Brown, who crashed the boards for five and two rebounds, respectively, gave WCU a 20-19 advantage on the glass. The tandem also provided a 14-12 edge in points in the paint for the Cats.
Robinson drove home the game's first points at the 17:12 mark as The Citadel eventually established a 9-3 lead behind five points from Van Scyoc and a jumper off the hand of Setzekorn.
Sumler responded by hitting a jumper from the elbow, drawing the margin to five, only to see The Citadel push the lead to seven, 12-5, following a Setzekorn trey at the 14:32 mark.
Behind five points from Sinclair, Western Carolina put together a 7-0 run to draw even at 12-12 with 13:40 remaining.
Just over a minute later, with the score tied for a second time, Van Scyoc tipped in a Harris inbounds pass to give the Dogs a brief 16-14 lead. WCU quickly answered with a 13-3 run over the next 7:39 of the contest, behind five points from Sumler and three by Tankelewicz to forge ahead 26-18.
Four points in the paint by Horgan and a 3-pointer by Moore made for the final seven points, while Sumler closed out the half with eight points to provide the nine-point edge.