VMI has been the top-scoring college basketball team in the country for five years in a row, and The Citadel found out why today.
The Bulldogs lost their season opener by 103-100 to Virginia Military Institute in the first round of the All-Military Classic at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The Citadel trailed by 15 late in the game, but stormed back to cut the margin to 102-100 on a Marshall Harris 3-pointer in the final minute.
VMI's Keith Gabriel made one free throw with 12.3 seconds left, and The Citadel missed at the buzzer.
Junior center Mike Groselle led the Bulldogs with 25 points and 11 rebounds in 37 minutes, hitting 9 of 12 shots from the field. Freshman guard Lawrence Miller added 14 points. Barry Smith added 12 and Ashton Moore scored 12 each, and Harris had 11.
"I'm disappointed that our defense wasn't a lot better," Citadel coach Chuck Driesell said. "VMI is very good at what they do, and we did not do what we needed to do to stop them. They got to the rim and did a nice job of getting buckets in the paint.
"But I told our guys, if we play with that effort and keep getting better, we're going to win some ball games this year."
The Citadel trailed by 52-46 at halftime in a game that began after midnight Eastern Time on Saturday morning.
The Bulldogs will face Army, an 87-71 loser to Air Force on Friday, in the consolation game of the All-Military Classic on Saturday night.