Keydets Close out Home Season against The Citadel
Courtesy: SportsPhotoGuy.com for VMI

VMI closes out the regular season with a Saturday afternoon clash against conference rival The Citadel at Cameron Hall. The Keydets will be vying for their third straight win after posting victories at Western Carolina last Saturday and Mercer at home Thursday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+ and NextStar, as well as stations WYCW (Greenville, Spartanburg, Asheville), WJHL (Johnson City) and WCBC (Charleston).

 

Last Time Out: VMI 84, Mercer 71 - Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019

Sophomore guard Bubba Parham poured in 31 points Thursday evening to help the VMI men’s basketball team to an 84-71 victory over visiting Mercer University in a Southern Conference game. Parham, the conference’s leading scorer, has eight 30-point games this season and tonight’s outburst was his second-straight contest over the 30-point mark. VMI led 43-42 at halftime, behind five three-pointers and 20 points from Parham. The Keydets held a 73-70 advantage with 4:34 remaining and took over defensively the rest of the game, forcing the Bears to miss their last six shots and finished on an 11-1 run. Parham finished with six three pointers and was 9-9 from the free-throw line with four assists. Sophomore Myles Lewis had 11 of his 17 points in the second half and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds. He also blocked a career-high three shots, all after intermission, and added three assists and two steals. Junior Garrett Gilkeson posted 14 points, five rebounds and three assists and sophomore Sarju Patel contributed 12 points and six rebounds, hitting 3-of-4 three-point tries. VMI blocked five shots on the night, the most against a Division I opponent this season. Mercer (11-18/6-11) had four scorers in double figures led by Ethan Stair’s 22. Ross Cummings had 15, but only three in the second half, and Jaylen Stowe had 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Marcus Cohen tallied 10 points and seven assists.

 

Last Meeting with the Bulldogs: The Citadel 84, VMI 82 (Jan. 26, 2019)

Senior guard Quayson Williams hit a driving layup at the buzzer to lift The Citadel to an 84-82 win over VMI January 26 at McAlister Field House. It was the lone basket of the day for Williams as The Citadel snapped an eight-game losing streak while the Keydets fell to 7-14, 1-8 SoCon. With the score tied 82-82, VMI called timeout with 20.7 seconds to draw up a play. Forward Sarju Patel missed a left baseline 3-pointer jumper with eight seconds remaining and an off-balance follow-up attempt by junior guard Garrett Gilkeson was unsuccessful before Citadel forward Zane Najdawi grabbed the rebound with four seconds left. With play continuing, Williams then grabbed the ball and raced down the right sideline before launching the game winning layup. Bubba Parham led the Keydets in scoring with 24 points – his 18th career 20 point game while Gilkeson produced a double-double with 19 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Myles Lewis added 14 points for the Keydets with 12 coming in the first half. Lew Stallworth led all scorers with 29 points on 11-of-14 shooting from the field and five-of-six from the line. Najdawi added a double-double for the Bulldogs with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

 

A win over The Citadel would ...

-- Split the season series between the teams 

-- Pull VMI to 8-7 at home in 2018-19

Series History – VMI vs. The Citadel

This will be the 112th meeting between the teams that first met in 1921. The Citadel leads the series, 58-53, but the Keydets swept the regular season series last year including wins 88-81 (Lexington, Va.) and 75-71 (Charleston, S.C.) last year. The Citadel prevailed 78-70 in the first round of the SoCon Tournament in Asheville, N.C. on March 2, 2018, and took the first regular season meeting this year, 84-82, in Lexington. VMI has won five straight over the Bulldogs at Cameron Hall.

 

Bubba Bounces Back

Sophomore guard Bubba Parham is on top of the SoCon scoring list (21.0) after a career-high 38 points at Westen Carolina Saturday followed by 31 points against Mercer Thursday night. The two-game scoring outburst followed a career-low two points vs. ETSU Feb. 21 and in the process made Parham the 41st player in VMI history to score 1,000 career points. One week earlier at Wofford, Parham had a 30-point night at Wofford February 14. Earlier in the season, Parham entered December with four straight 30+ point games, and became the first SoCon player to tally 30 or more points in four straight contests since Steph Curry of Davidson in 2008-09. Not just a scorer, Parham also garnered a career-high nine rebounds with a 30-point outing in VMI’s win 87-79 OT win at Stetson November. 23 and tied his career-best in assists with seven against Samford Feb. 9. Parham started his blistering four-game November scoring stretch when he scored a career-high 35 points and knocked down a school record 10 3-pointers in the 92-82 loss at #10 ranked Kentucky Nov. 18. It was the first time Parham had surpassed the 30+ point plateau in a game in his career and he followed it up two nights later with 33 points against Kentucky Christian at Cameron Hall. Parham, the 2018 SoCon Freshman of the Year as selected by the media, has eight career 30+ games (all this season) and 22 games of 20+ points in his career including 15 this year.

 

Lewis Doubles Up

Sophomore guard/forward Miles Lewis continued his strong February surge posted 17 points with eight rebounds and a career-high three blocks against Mercer Thursday night. One game earlier, Lewis posted his first career-double-double in the Feb. 23 win at Western Carolina with 15 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Lewis also turned in a career scoring night against ETSU February 21 when he tallied a career high 27 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the field against the Bucs and grabbed eight rebounds. Against  Wofford on February 14, Lewis scored a then career-high 22 points against the Terriers. Lewis also had a solid performance in the Jan. 19 85-82 loss at ETSU missing his first double-double by a single rebound. Lewis hit 7 of 14 shots from the floor and finished with 17 points and also tied and then career-high in rebounds with nine versus ETSU. Second on the team in scoring (11.0 PPG), Lewis has 19 double-figures scoring games on the year including 10 of the last 12 contests and is averaging 19.7 points and 8.3 rebounds over his last three games.