SPARTANBURG — The Citadel cut a 17-point second-half deficit to just two, but the Bulldogs’ comeback came up short in a 69-62 loss at Wofford on Saturday night.
The Bulldogs finish the regular season at 8-21 overall and 5-13 in the Southern Conference. They will be the No. 11 seed and face No. 6 Western Carolina at 8:30 p.m. Friday in the Southern Conference basketball tournament in Asheville.
Mike Groselle scored 17 points to lead The Citadel. Dylen Setzekorn added 13 and Rae Robinson 11.
Lee Skinner scored 21 points for Wofford (13-18, 7-11). The No. 8 Terriers will face No. 9 Georgia Southern in the SoCon Tournament.
The Citadel trailed by 49-32 with just 11:31 left in the contest before mounting a furious comeback.
A 10-0 run closed the gap to 49-42, and then a 12-2 spurt got the Bulldogs to within 57-55 on a P.J. Horgan with 5:21 to play.
Wofford guard Karl Cochran, who scored 17 points, responded with a 3-pointer, and Spencer Collins (16 points) turned a Citadel turnover into a rebound basket for a 62-55 margin with 3:50 to go.
The Bulldogs rallied again and appeared to slice Wofford’s lead to 62-59 on Setzekorn’s driving layup with 1:45 left. But the redshirt freshman was called for an offensive foul, negating the basket. Citadel coach Chuck Driesell protested as Setzekorn was restrained by his teammates, but the call stood.
Cochran drove the lane for a bucket at the other end for a 64-57 advantage, and the Bulldogs never got closer than four after that.
The Citadel faced SoCon tourney foe Western Carolina on Jan. 5, losing by 72-55 at McAlister Field House. Trey Sumler scored 17 points for the Catamounts, who forced 16 Citadel turnovers and outrebounded the Bulldogs, 35-24, including 18-10 on the offensive glass.
The winner of the WCU-Citadel game will face No. 3 seed College of Charleston in the second round of the SoCon tournament.