Carolina

Jackson scores a career-high 29 in return against The Citadel

CULLOWHEE, NCTre Jackson Western Carolina led by a career-high 29 points, but The Citadel used a balanced, four-man offense in double figures to defeat Western Carolina 81-70 on Wednesday night at Ingles Court at the Ramsey Center.

The Citadel improves to 9-12 overall and 4-5 in the Southern Conference while WCU falls to 11-11 and 4-5.

Jackson’s 29 points came as the Columbia, SC native finished 9-for-17 from the field, 4-for-10 from behind the 3-point line and a perfect 7-for-7 at the free-throw line. Jackson twice surpassed his previous career high of 21 points this season, and his 29-point performance is the most by a WCU player this season.

Tyzhaun Claude finished with 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds as a team-best. Vonterius Woolbright had 17 points, six rebounds and three assists as the leading team.

Stephen Clark left The Citadel with 18 points, followed by Austin Ash and Elijah Morgan with 16 points each. Madison Durr hit a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Bulldogs opened the game with a 7-1 run before a Woolbright layup gave the Catamounts a 10-8 lead with 14-14 to go. The Citadel responded with a 12-2 run and secured a 22-10 advantage on a Morgan 3-pointer at the 8:35 mark. WCU fought back and reduced the deficit to 23-19 after a Woolbright free throw with just over six minutes left. With The Citadel leading 27-21, WCU went on for seven straight points topped by a Woolbright layup by 2:27 to take a 28-27 lead. A three-point play by Claude with 69 seconds left gave the Catamounts a 31-29 lead, but 3-pointers from Jackson Price and Morgan in the final seconds sent The Citadel with a 35-31 lead at halftime.

A layup by Claude put WCU to a point, 38-37, with a 17:33 second half. The Bulldogs extended their lead back to six points, 47-41, with an Ash 3-pointer just before the U16 media timeout with a Clark jumper that gave the visitors a 51-41 lead with 14 minutes left. A 5-0 sprint topped by a Colin Granger Layup took the hosts to five, 54:49, at 12:14. The Citadel took a 60-49 lead on their next three-pointer at halftime. Jackson’s third 3-pointer of the game brought WCU back to five, 62-57, but the Catamounts wouldn’t get any closer than five points for the rest of the game.

The Citadel had a 35-28 advantage in rebounds and finished the night 29-to-55 (52.7 percent) from the field, 9-to-22 (40.9 percent) behind the 3-point line and 14-to-18 (77.8 percent) at the free throw line. WCU was 26 to 59 (44.1 percent) on the field, 4 to 21 (19 percent) behind the arc and 14 to 20 (70 percent) on the field.

The Catamounts return to the streets Saturday (January 28) and head to the 1 p.m. VMI for a tip in a game that will be televised on ESPN+ (Paid subscription required) with audio over the Catamount Sports Network beginning at 12:30 p.m

Keep up with all things Catamount men’s basketball and WCU Athletics through our social media channels on Facebook (fb.com/catamountsports), Instagram (@catamountmbb @wcu_catamounts) and Twitter (@CatamountMBB @ catamounts).

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