GREENSBORO, N.C. — Plagued by turnover problems in the early season, The Citadel solved that problem Saturday night, giving the basketball away only seven times.
But the rest of the Bulldogs’ game plan fell apart, resulting in an 84-54 loss to UNC Greensboro in The Citadel’s Southern Conference opener at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Guards Drew Parker and Trevis Simpson scored 15 points each as UNCG (2-5, 1-0) shot 59 percent from the field and made 11 of 21 attempts from 3-point range.
The Bulldogs (3-3, 0-1) got 20 points from center Mike Groselle. But The Citadel shot just 30.9 percent, and despite missing 38 shots, grabbed only four offensive rebounds.
“Seven turnovers, that was a plus,” said Citadel coach Chuck Driesell. “Problem is, we couldn’t stop them. They got out to a 15-point lead just like that, and then your game plan gets a little tweaked. You have to try to get back in it by doing things you didn’t plan on doing.”
Ashton Moore scored 11 points for The Citadel, and Marshall Harris had six assists. Groselle scored his 20 points on just 12 shots, making six from the field and 8 of 10 from the foul line.
“Mike did yeoman’s work down there,” Driesell said. “They really pushed and shoved on him all night. When we got the ball to him, he did a nice job with it. I still think we can get the ball to him more in our offense.”
The Spartans, shooting just 41.9 percent coming in, had little trouble getting their offense cranked up against The Citadel’s 2-3 zone. Parker hit 3 of 5 and Nicholas Paulos 3 of 4 from long distance for UNCG, which was picked to defend its North Division title this year.
“Prior to tonight, they had not shot it well,” Driesell said. “We’ll have to look and see if we were there on the shots, if they just had a hot night or if there is something we need to fix.”
The Bulldogs won’t have much time to fix things, as they play at Charleston Southern on Tuesday.
“We’ve got to learn from this and not let everybody get down and depressed,” Driesell said. “It’s a journey, and we’ve got to stay even-keeled throughout the whole season.”