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CofC Rout Citadel 79-57 in Renewed Crosstown Rivalry



Cougars Just Too Much For Bulldogs, Brzovic Records Double Double

By: Jeff Walker, Sports Writer

Until Saturday it had been six years since the College of Charleston and The Citadel have met to do battle in men’s basketball. Over the years the two teams had met 97 times with the Cougars holding a 57-40 advantage over the Bulldogs. With former Head Coach Ed Conroy now back at The Citadel, he once again wanted to re-ignite the annual crosstown rivalry.

Both teams headed into the contest with impressive records. The 5-3 Bulldogs were fresh off a 76-73 win over fellow low country rival Charleston Southern, with the 7-1 Cougars coming off a decisive 75-60 win over Old Dominion, as well as sporting a six game win streak, garnering them 20 points in the latest AP Top 25 Poll.

Travelling just two miles across town it would be only the second away game for Charleston, with their lone loss on the season coming on the road to then top ranked North Carolina on November 11th. Ironically the Bulldogs are set to face UNC this coming Tuesday.

It would be the first time Conroy and CofC head ball coach Pat Kelsey went head to head. Earlier in the week Kelsey said, “I think rivalries are what college sports are all about.”

All the back stories didn’t matter as the two teams met on Saturday afternoon in front of a raucous crowd. After the near sellout crowd dispersed from the Citadel Fieldhouse the visiting Cougars downed the Bulldogs 79-57, giving The Citadel their first home loss (2-1) this season. Charleston improve to 8-1 on the year, with The Citadel falling to 5-4 overall.

Sophomore Ante Brzovic lead Charleston with a team best 16 points including two from long range. The 6-10 Croatian transfer student hauled in a game best 11 rebounds for his first double double in a Cougar uniform. Pat Robinson III came in off the bench adding 12 points, with Dalton Bolon and Ryan Larson chipping in 11 and 10 respectively. Bolon missed recording a double double, finishing with nine rebounds.

Aside from two quick Bulldog baskets it was all CofC from the start. 12 unanswered points by the Cougars found them up 12-4 with 14:15 left in the first half. When Reyne Smith drained his lone trey Charleston went up by 12 (23-11) near the midway point. The Citadel cut it to seven a couple of times before another surge sent CofC into the locker room up 41-27 at intermission.

The Cougars continued the scoring attack after the break. A short jumper by Robinson with 12:15 remaining gave Charleston a 20 point advantage. The Bulldogs had no answers, cutting it to 16 on a few occasions. No doubt with Conroy back on the sidelines at The Citadel the crosstown rivalry will heat up in ensuing years, but the 2022 meeting was all College of Charleston.

The final stats mirrored the scoreboard, as CofC outrebounded The Citadel 54-34 allowing for 11 second chance points. In a balanced attack the Cougars got 41 points from their bench. The Cougars managed to drain nine 3-pointers with the Bulldogs connecting on just 2 or 14 from long range. The Citadel’s Madison Durr lead all scorers with 20 points, knocking down 9 of 18 from the field to go along with two from the foul line.

The Cougars, now 8-1 on the year, return to action for their third road contest of the season when they travel to Presbyterian. Action is set for 7pm in Clinton. The 5-4 Bulldogs head to Chapel Hill Tuesday to do battle against the University of North Carolina. The 7pm contest will air on ESPN2.

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