Forced to stage another second-half rally, The Citadel basketball team again came up short Wednesday night, falling to Navy, 79-74, in Annapolis, Md.
Bulldogs coach Chuck Driesell would like to see a different script when his 3-7 team returns home to play Gardner-Webb on Saturday.
“I’m tired of rallies, and I hope the team starts to get tired of it,” said Driesell, whose Bulldogs trailed by 17 to Navy (5-3) before cutting the lead to four in the final minutes. “It was a tale of two halves. I asked the guys, ‘Did Navy change players at halftime. Was it a different team?’
“But whether we won or lost, there are some things to fix and we’ll get to work.”
Guard Marshall Harris scored 19 points to lead The Citadel, which has lost three straight, all in the state of Maryland. Freshman Brian White added 15 and sophomore Matt Van Scyoc 14.
Sophomore guard Tilman Dunbar led Navy with 28 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
It was the second straight game the Bulldogs had to dig out of a big hole. They trailed Division II West Alabama by 31 before taking a 90-77 loss last Saturday.
“It’s exhausting at times,” Driesell said of the habit of falling behind. “The guys want to win, we’ve just got to get better and find better shots. Sometimes they are looking for their own shots instead of Citadel shots. And then we get down by 15 and they say, ‘We better get it together or we’ll get blown out.’
“It all comes down to discipline on offense, and we’ll work hard on that over the next several days.”
Down by 17, the Bulldogs got to within four a couple of times in the final minute. But Navy, 22 of 30 from the foul line, made enough free throws to hold off The Citadel.
Bulldogs guard Ashton Moore, who scored 40 points in two home wins last month, did not start and played only 10 minutes without a point.
For Navy, Worth Smith scored 17 points and Kendall Knorr added 13. Navy led by 41-26 at halftime.