VMI Defeats Citadel

KEYDET SOPHOMORE center Jake Stephens takes a shot over The Citadel’s Brady Spence. Stephens led VMI with 18 points and 11 rebounds, recording his first career double-double and sinking four 3-pointers. (VMI photo by Chuck Steenburgh)

KEYDET SOPHOMORE center Jake Stephens takes a shot over The Citadel’s Brady Spence. Stephens led VMI with 18 points and 11 rebounds, recording his first career double-double and sinking four 3-pointers. (VMI photo by Chuck Steenburgh)

VMI SENIOR guard Garrett Gilkeson goes up for a shot while The Citadel’s Fletcher Abee tries to get a hand in his face. Gilkeson scored 16 points and had eight rebounds, four assists two steals and block. (VMI photo by Chuck Steenburgh)

VMI SENIOR guard Garrett Gilkeson goes up for a shot while The Citadel’s Fletcher Abee tries to get a hand in his face. Gilkeson scored 16 points and had eight rebounds, four assists two steals and block. (VMI photo by Chuck Steenburgh)

The Virginia Military Institute men’s basketball team earned an 88-79 Southern Conference win over The Citadel in front of an energetic crowd on Saturday afternoon at Cameron Hall in Lexington.

Sophomore center Jake Stephens tallied 18 points, 11 rebounds and four 3-pointers to lead the Keydets (6-14 overall, 1-6 SoCon) to their first conference win this season. Stephens’ 18 points (a season high) and 11 boards were game highs, and it was the first career double-double for the Bunker Hill, W.Va. native.

Senior guard Garrett Gilkeson also had a big afternoon with 16 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and a blocked shot for VMI. Myles Lewis and Sean Conway each scored 12 points and Greg Parham posted 10 points, nine assists and five steals. Tyler Creammer had eight points, five rebounds and two steals. Parham’s nine helpers are his most against a D1 opponent. The Keydets had 22 assists on 29 made baskets.

Kaiden Rice drilled five three pointers to pace The Citadel (6-11, 0-6) with 17 points. Eddie Davis III had 14 points and eight rebounds while Kaelon Harris tallied 12 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.

The Citadel, coached by former VMI head coach Duggar Baucom, held a 24-19 lead with 10:36 remaining in the first half. A 13-3 VMI run over the next three minutes made the score 32-27 and the Keydets led the rest of the game. VMI, coached by Dan Earl, held a 48-42 advantage at halftime and led by as many as 15 in the second half before holding off a late Bulldog charge for the win.

The VMI victory is its seventhstraight over the Bulldogs at home in Cameron Hall, dating back to the 2001- 2002 season.

VMI will continue SoCon action at Wofford tonight at 7 before playing host to Mercer on Saturday at 1 p.m. For updates on the Keydets, visit www.vmikeydets.com.

The News-Gazette

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