"Sixty years later," Al Fralinger says now, "things kind of get mixed up."
WHO: No. 11 The Citadel vs. No. 6 UNCG
RECORDS: Citadel 6-25, 2-14; UNCG 14-17, 7-9.
WHEN: 4 p.m. Friday
WHERE: U.S. Cellular Center, Asheville, N.C.
RADIO: 1450-AM. TV: ESPN3.
Boy, that's the truth.
The Citadel's basketball team this season lost a school-record 17 straight games, sending media types scurrying through the record book to find out the last time the Bulldogs lost so many games in a row.
The apparent answer was 1953-54 season, when The Citadel's record book says Fralinger and his teammates lost 16 straight games.
Only problem is, The Citadel's record book is wrong.
George Orrell, a 1954 graduate who also played on that team, discovered the error after The Post and Courier's Feb. 21 article about the 1953-54 team, which also included players such as Skeet Van Harten, Dick Shockley and Jim Cathcart.
Orrell checked his yearbook, which reported a 75-70 win over Davidson on Feb. 13, 1954. The Citadel record book has the Bulldogs losing that game, 80-75.
A check of the Davidson record book and of newspaper articles from that week showed that Orrell and the yearbook are correct. The 1953-54 team lost eight straight games, then defeated Davidson before losing the final seven games of the season for a record of 2-18.
The error also means:
. The Citadel did not lose 30 consecutive games over the 1953-54 and 1954-55 seasons; that losing streak is now reduced to 21 straight games.
. The actual previous single-season record for consecutive losses was 14 straight by the 1954-55 team. That means the current Bulldogs broke the school record with their 76-67 loss at Furman on Feb. 15.
Citadel sports information director Mike Hoffman said the mistake has been in the school's record book since 1989, and will be corrected.
Fralinger, 81 and the founder of Fralinger Engineering in Bridgeton, N.J., says the information does not change much about how he remembers his senior season.
"Numbers are numbers, and some people are number counters," said Fralinger, 81. "But at this stage in my life, that's long gone by."
Fralinger was glad to hear that the current Citadel team has ended its losing streak and has won two straight heading into the Southern Conference Tournament.
"Maybe we woke them up," he said.