Citadel slips past VMI, 78-75

vmiGuard Derrick Henry scored a game-high 21 points including two free throws and a driving layup over the last 1:41 of regulation to lead The Citadel to a 78-75 win over VMI in Southern Conference basketball Saturday afternoon at McAlister Field House.

The Keydets had a chance to tie the game with the final possession but were unable to launch a 3-point try after inbounding the ball with 3.0 left.

The Keydets placed five in double figures scoring and had double-double performances from senior forward Phillip Anglade who finished with a season-high 16 points and 11 rebounds in 21 minutes and junior guard Q.J Peterson who scored 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Junior forward Trey Chapman scored 11 points – all in the first half- and senior guard Tim Marshall added 10 points for the Keydets (6-14, 1-8 SoCon).

The Citadel (10-12, 3-6) got double-digit scoring from freshman guard Quayson Williams (12 points) and Quinton Marshall (11 points).

The Keydets outrebounded the Bulldogs 55-40 in the closely played contest that featured 9 ties and 11 lead changes. VMI rallied from a 10-point first half deficit to trail The Citadel 40-38 at the break, and The Bulldogs overcame a 9-point early second-half deficit to rally for the win.

VMI committed 20 turnovers for the game including several key miscues during a decisive spurt by the Bulldogs in the second half.

The Citadel hit 19 of 24 free throws for the game while the Keydets went 6 for 11 from the stripe. Both teams hit nine 3-point shots for the contest.

The Keydets raced out on a 7-0 run to start the second half on a Tim Marshall jumper, 3-point play by Peterson, and Anglade jumper. VMI assumed its largest lead of the game at the 13:19 mark when forward Jordan Weethee canned a 3-pointer to put the visitors ahead, 61-52.

The Citadel rallied with a 13-4 run to tie the game at 65-65 with 9:49 remaining when point guard P.J. Boutte converted a layup. VMI went scoreless for a period of over four minutes during part of that stretch and committed four turnovers .

The teams then settled in for a back-and-forth game and neither squad held more than a 2-point edge until Henry hit a driving shot to push The Citadel ahead, 77-73 with 1:01 remaining. A Weethee layup cut it to 77-75 at the :47 mark and on the ensuing possession Henry misfired a deep 3-point try but the rebound was corralled by Boutee who was fouled immediately with 9.6 seconds left. Boutee hit the first charity toss to make it 78-75 but missed the second, giving VMI a last try to tie the contest.

After a pair of timeouts, VMI junior guard Julian Eleby was fouled in the open court at 3.2 and missed the front end of a 1-and-1 but the rebound was knocked out on the baseline and awarded to VMI with 3.0 seconds left.

With a five-second countdown winding down and all 3-point options covered, Eleby hastily inbounded the ball in the paint to a cutting Q.J. Peterson who launched an off balance shot that the Bulldogs’ Quinton Marshall rebounded to seal the game.

Eleby finished with 9 points – only the second time the Keydet guard has been held to single digits scoring this season.

VMI returns home Thursday to open a Southern Conference two-game home stand against ETSU. Tipoff is 7 p.m.

 

Press Conference: VMI Coach Dan Earl

“It was a hard fought game by both teams. I give Citadel a bunch of credit. They played hard throughout and made a few extra plays down the stretch.  We talked to our guys about doing one more thing for the team – that could be getting a 50-50 ball, or a rebound, or being the right spot when you’re attacking the press and getting there quickly. Every little thing matters. With that said, I am proud of our guys and I think we fought and we are getting better. The guys are buying in and working hard.”

“I thought we handled the pressure fairly decently for the most part. There was that stretch in the second half where it really hurt us. But our guys continued to fight and we battled back from that and we fell a little short.”

“Phillip Anglade was a warrior tonight and that’s what we need I’m proud of him and his effort. We just have to stay true in what we’re doing and our mission. Everything matters. I think we are getting better.”

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