Greg Parham goes for 36 to lead VMI past The Citadel in rivalry clash
Parham converted 13-of-14 attempts from the floor, including all six three-point tries, to shatter his previous career scoring high of 23 points established in the season opener against East Carolina on Nov. 5. His only miss came on a baseline pull-up jumper early in the second half after he had canned his first nine shot attempts.
Parham also dished out a team-high five assists as the Keydets swept the regular season series with the Bulldogs.
VMI outscored The Citadel 46-10 in bench points thanks in part to the Parham scoring outburst.
VMI senior guard Garrett Gilkeson scored 11 points second half points and grabbed six rebounds while sophomore center Jake Stephens pulled down eight boards as the Keydets built a 36-29 advantage in rebounding.
The Keydets, (7-18, 2-10) who entered the game ranked second in Division I in three-pointers made, drained 13-of-30 from beyond the arc to register their 12th contest of 10+ threes in a game this season.
The Citadel (6-17, 0-11) placed four in double figures scoring as forward Derek Webster, Jr. and guard Tyson Batiste each scored 14 points. Batiste also added six assists and eight rebounds while guards Kaiden Rice and Fletcher Abee contributed 13 points and 10 points, respectively.
The first half saw six ties and nine lead changes with neither team able to amass more than a five-point cushion. The Keydets took a 39-35 lead at halftime with Parham having already booked 17 into the scoring ledger.
The Citadel opened the second half on a 7-2 run employing a trapping zone defense that slowed the Keydets momentarily. A pair of Batiste free throws pushed the Bulldogs ahead, 43-41, with 17:23 left. VMI responded with 12 straight points knocking down four straight three-balls with Parham and Gilkeson providing the scoring punch.
VMI took its biggest lead a 65-49 with over seven minutes remaining, but the Bulldogs trimmed the margin to six points fueled by a 10-0 run capped a Kaleon Harris layup with 3:02 left. VMI, starting with a Travis Evee 3-pointer, answered with eight straight points over the next minute to push the lead back to double-digits for the duration of regulation and secure VMI’s first road win of the season.
The Citadel was hampered by lackluster free throw shooting in the second half – going 9 of 19 from the line after halftime.
The Keydets return to action Wednesday night at Chattanooga with tip-off slated for 7 pm.