GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Citadel has had no trouble building leads in Southern Conference basketball games this season.
Holding onto those leads has been a different matter.
The Bulldogs had a 14-point lead in the second half of Thursday night’s game at UNC Greensboro, only to lose by 69-65 in overtime.
It was The Citadel’s sixth straight loss as the Bulldogs dropped to 4-15 overall and 0-4 in the SoCon. They’ve led by at least seven points in all four SoCon games, with double-digit leads in three of them.
“It was evident that we kind of ran out of gas there in the overtime,” said Citadel coach Chuck Driesell, whose team has lost in OT twice in three games. “We needed to score some baskets there, and we just didn’t do it.”
Ashton Moore scored 21 points, Matt Van Scyoc 16 and Quinton Marshall 13 for the Bulldogs, who did not trail until overtime and had a 14-point lead at 38-24 early in the second half.
Marshall Harris had a chance to give the Bulldogs a four-point lead with 21 seconds left, but missed the front end of a one-and-one chance at the foul line. UNCG’s Kayel Locke grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to tie the game at 59-59 with two seconds left, and Van Scyoc missed a long 3-pointer at the buzzer.
In OT, The Citadel led 61-60 before UNCG scored six straight points to take control.
Locke scored 21 points and Kyle Cain 20 for the Spartans, who improved to 10-9 overall and 3-1 in the SoCon.
The Citadel, shooting 71 percent from the foul line as a team, made just 9 of 18 against UNCG, and also committed 15 turnovers.
Driesell said he doesn’t think the series of close losses will wear on the Bulldogs, who play host to Furman on Saturday.
“This is a special group of guys,” he said. “They want to win and will do what it takes. I don’t need to worry about keeping their spirits up. They’ve battled in these last four games. It’s emotional when you put your all into it. But this is a journey these guys are going through, and I’m proud of them.”
The Citadel hit its first five shots and jumped to a 14-2 lead to start the game, and led by 31-20 at the half.