GAME NOTES: The Citadel Bulldogs will try to put an end to their lengthy losing streak when they welcome the Appalachian State Mountaineers to McAlister Field House for a Southern Conference clash.
Appalachian State snapped its own five-game slide on Saturday with an 81-68 victory over Georgia Southern. However, that win came on the Mountaineers' home floor, and they are winless in nine tries on opponents' hardwoods this season.
All four of the Citadel's wins have come at home, but the team is a mere 4-16 overall this season and has lost eight in a row overall entering this contest. The Bulldogs opened a three-game homestand with a 76-71 setback to Furman over the weekend.
Appalachian State owns a 51-25 lead in the all-time series, although Citadel notched an 80-77 road victory in overtime when these teams last met up on Feb. 20, 2013.
The Mountaineers were clinging to a two-point lead with just under 10 minutes to play against Georgia Southern, but they effectively put the game away with a huge 18-2 run. For the game, Appalachian State held a 43-34 rebounding advantage and shot 10-of-20 from beyond the arc. Five players scored in double figures for the Mountaineers, led by Tab Hamilton (13.3 ppg) with 17 points to go along with five assists. Tommy Spagnolo scored 12 points and pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds. Leading scorer Jay Canty sat out after injuring his right hand in Friday's practice and is out indefinitely. Canty, a preseason All-SoCon selection who was academically ineligible for the fall semester, has averaged 17.6 ppg and 5.0 rpg in five games since being activated and is shooting 56 percent from the floor.
The Citadel boasts three players who are averaging double figures this season, but poor defense has been the main culprit behind the team's 4-16 record as opponents are averaging a healthy 75.6 ppg against the Bulldogs (-5.8 scoring margin). Matt Van Scyoc leads the way with 15.0 ppg to go along with 5.6 rpg, followed by Brian White (13.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and Ashton Moore (12.2 ppg). While White headlines the action down low, Van Scyoc and Moore have combined to shoot 39 percent from the perimeter (83-of-211). In their latest outing, the Bulldogs put together a 25-10 run down the stretch against Furman to trim and 18-point deficit down to three with less than two minutes to play. However, they were unable to complete the comeback as the Paladins prevailed. Moore paced three Bulldogs in double figures with 25 points in the loss.
Barring a dramatic turnaround, neither of these teams appear destined for any kind of postseason run. The Mountaineers showed some real grit down the stretch of their last game without Canty, and they may need to draw on that collective effort once again if he is unable to play.
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