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  • Steven Grandy / WCU

Jackson Scores Career-High 29 in Setback against The Citadel

Tre Jackson led Western Carolina with a career-high 29 points, but The Citadel used a balanced offense with four players in double figures to knock off Western Carolina 81-70 on Ingles Court at the Ramsey Center on Wednesday night.

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

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

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

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

The Bulldogs opened the game on a 7-1 run before a Woolbright layup brought the Catamounts within two, 10-8, with 14:14 remaining. The Citadel answered with a 12-2 run, grabbing a 22-10 advantage on a Morgan 3-pointer at the 8:35 mark. WCU battled back, trimming the deficit to 23-19 after a Woolbright free throw with just over six minutes left. With The Citadel leading 27-21, WCU scored seven straight points capped by a Woolbright layup with 2:27 to go for a 28-27 lead. A Claude three-point play with 69 seconds left put the Catamounts ahead 31-29, but 3-pointers by Jackson Price and Morgan in the waning seconds sent The Citadel into halftime with a 35-31 lead.

A Claude layup brought WCU within a point, 38-37, with 17:33 remaining in the second half. The Bulldogs built their lead back to six points, 47-41, with an Ash 3-pointer just before the under-16 media timeout with a Clark jumper putting the visitors ahead 51-41 with 14 minutes left. A 5-0 spurt capped by a Colin Granger layup brought the hosts within five, 54-49, at the 12:14 mark. The Citadel scored on its next three possession for a 60-49 lead at the midpoint of the half. Jackson’s third 3-pointer of the game brought WCU back within five, 62-57, but the Catamounts would get no closer than five points for the remainder of the game.

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

The Catamounts return to the road on Saturday (Jan. 28) heading to VMI for a 1 p.m. tip-off in a game that will be broadcast on ESPN+ (paid subscription required) with audio through the Catamount Sports Network beginning at 12:30 p.m.

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