CLINTON -- The Citadel had not played Presbyterian College in basketball since 1982, and had not lost to the Blue Hose since 1956.
ESPN’s BracketBuster series brought the two foes together again tonight, and Presbyterian took advantage for a 68-65 win over the Bulldogs at the Templeton Center.
Khalid Mutakabbir scored 25 points for PC (8-21), while Mike Groselle scored 15 to lead the Bulldogs (7-20). The defeat gave The Citadel its third straight 20-loss season.
Marshall Harris hit two free throws with 13 seconds left to draw the Bulldogs to within 66-65. But Austin Anderson made two free throws for PC with 10 seconds left, and the Bulldogs failed to get off a final shot.
The Citadel shot 52.6 percent, but committed 19 turnovers as PC snapped a 10-game losing streak against the Bulldogs. Two of the 19 turnovers came in the final 30 seconds.
“We didn’t deserve to win,” said Citadel coach Chuck Driesell. “We beat ourselves. We allowed their pressure to bother us, and we still haven’t learned how to handle that pressure.
“You are not supposed to be beating yourself in February. We shot 52 percent, but 19 turnovers is the same old story. When we don’t play like that, we can beat some pretty good teams. Turnovers are one thing, but bad turnovers ... some of them are exhausting because they really aren’t anything the defense is doing.”
P.J. Horgan scored 14 points, Harris 12 and Matt Van Scyoc 10 for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs erased a nine-point deficit to tie the game at 55-55 with 7:48 left. But the Blue Hose scored nine of the next 11 points, with Mutakabbir scoring seven of them for a 64-57 lead.
The Citadel shot a sizzling 58 percent in the first half, but trailed by 30-28 at the break due largely to 12 turnovers. Those miscues helped PC take 10 more shots in the first half than did the Bulldogs.
SoCon teams went 2-2 in BracketBuster games, including 1-2 against the Big South. In addition to The Citadel’s loss to PC, College of Charleston lost by 55-52 to Gardner-Webb, and Western Carolina beat Coastal Carolina, 80-70.
Also in the BracketBuster, SoCon leader Davidson topped Montana, 93-87, in overtime.
The Bulldogs play their final home game of the season Thursday against Furman, a 78-61 loser to Georgia Southern on Saturday.
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