GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Citadel is stumbling toward the Southern Conference basketball tournament, dropping its eighth straight game Thursday night by 92-63 at UNC Greensboro.
The Bulldogs (10-20, 3-14) play their regular-season finale on Saturday at VMI; the loser will be the No. 10 seed in the SoCon tournament next week in Asheville, N.C.
“A battle for last place,” said Citadel coach Duggar Baucom.
The Bulldogs made just 20 of 74 shots against UNCG (13-17, 9-8), including 10 of 39 from 3-point range (25.6 percent). The starting five players made 5 of 31 shots (16.1 percent) and scored 14 points. Brian White and Derrick Henry came off the bench to score 18 and 13 points, respectively.
“Credit UNCG, they had a lot to do with it,” Baucom said. “But it’s disappointing we couldn’t make the open ones. They did a good job of guarding us, they when you have open ones, you have to at least be close.
“It was crazy that we didn’t shoot it any better than we did, but we didn’t.”
The surging Spartans, meanwhile, scored at will while winning their fourth straight game. Sophomore forward Marvin Smith had a double-double at halftime and finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds, and guard Francis Alonso scored 21 points. UNCG shot 51.8 percent from the field and made 11 of 25 from 3-point range.
“We played good for about three minutes when we turned them over a couple of times and had some energy,” Baucom said. “But we have to be able to play like that for 40 minutes, not three minutes. That’s got to be more consistent.”
At VMI on Saturday, Baucom will return to the school he where he coached for 10 years before coming to The Citadel. VMI beat Mercer, 91-82, on Thursday to improve to 8-19 overall and 3-13 in the SoCon. The Citadel beat VMI, 78-75, on Jan. 30.
“It will be wild up there,” Baucom said. “We’ll have our hands full.”