GREENVILLE - Citadel basketball coach Chuck Driesell shuffled his starting lineup again Saturday, but it wasn't enough to help the Bulldogs snap their losing streak.
The Citadel dropped its 15th straight game, 76-67, at Furman, one loss shy of the single-season school record for consecutive losses. The Bulldogs will have to defeat Southern Conference leader Davidson at McAlister Field House on Monday night to avoid tying that mark of 16 straight losses, set by the 1952-53 team.
Guard Stephen Croone scored 23 points to lead Furman, which built an 18-point lead in the first half and then held off a Citadel rally.
Guard Ashton Moore scored 22 points for the Bulldogs, who fell to 4-23 overall and 0-12 in the SoCon.
"I wish I had an answer for our fans and for everyone as to why we didn't play very well in the first half," said Driesell, whose team trailed 23-8 and 29-11 in the opening 20 minutes. "We watched film from the first time we played Furman (a 76-71 loss), and we knew one reason we lost the first time is we got off to a really poor start.
"We knew getting off to a good start was important, and we just didn't do it."
The Bulldogs cut the deficit to 38-27 by halftime, and trailed just 69-65 after a Moore 3-pointer with 1:43 left.
But after Furman's Adonis Rwabigwi grabbed an offensive rebound, Croone hit a clutch 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock with 38 seconds left, good for a 72-65 lead. Croone and William Gates each made two free throws in the final 19 seconds to seal the victory for the Paladins, who are 8-17 overall and 2-10 in the SoCon, with both league wins coming over The Citadel.
"It's hard to come back from being down 18, I don't care who you are," Driesell said. "I give our guys a lot of credit in the second half. They battled back and fought and got it down to four. But we made some bad decisions in the second half, and we need to be beyond that at this point."
Moore, freed from point guard responsibilities, had six rebounds, three assists and three steals to go with his 22 points. Point guard Marshall Harris, returned to the starting lineup, had 16 points and three assists, and Matt Van Scyoc added 12 points. Forward P.J. Horgan, coming off the bench, had six points and 10 rebounds.
"I told the guys in the locker room, having Marshall and Horgan play well is great," Driesell said. "But we had too many guys who played really bad. They don't have to play great, just don't have a really bad night. If we can do that, I think everything can come together."
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