By Carey Phillips
Citadel had six players score in double figures Friday as the eighth-seeded Bulldogs defeated ninth-seeded Western Carolina’s men 100-86 in the first round of the Southern Conference Basketball Tournament at Harrah’s Cherokee Center-Asheville.
Hayden Brown led the balanced attack with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Stephen Clark and Tyler Moffe both finished with 18 points. Fletcher Abee added 17, followed by Rudy Fitzgibbons with 13 and Kaiden Rice with 11.
Mason Faulkner, who was named third-team all-conference, scored 29 points for the Catamounts (11-16). Kameron Gibson netted 15. Xavier Cork had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Sin’Cere McMahon scored 12, and Matt Halvorsen had 10.
Citadel trailed 39-32 at intermission but took control midway through the second half.
Consecutive three-pointers by Abee put the Bulldogs ahead to stay, 47-43, with 16:04 on the clock.
Clark’s dunk put the margin in double figures for the first time at 62-51 with 10:51 to play.
The largest lead was 100-84 when Derek Webster made two foul shots with 27 seconds left.
McMahon’s three-pointer at the 12:56 mark gave Western a 15-12 lead that would hold for the rest of the half.
The Cats were up 27-19 after Faulkner’s three-pointer with 6:42 on the clock.
WCU’s Cory Hightower, Tyler Harris and Daniel Ransom all had two points.