Kaelon Harris

Kaelon Harris drives to the basket at Wofford on Saturday. Provided/Citadel Athletics 

The Citadel outscored Wofford by nine points in the final 40 seconds of Saturday night's basketball game at Richardson Indoor Stadium in Spartanburg.

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they were behind by 11.

The Citadel lost yet another close Southern Conference game, falling 73-71 at Wofford despite a career-best 32 points from Kaelon Harris.

The Bulldogs (6-9, 0-4) have lost their last three SoCon games by a total of seven points —  by one at Samford, by four at home to Western Carolina and by two at Wofford (11-6, 3-1).

"We've got to turn these close losses into wins at some point," Citadel coach Duggar Baucom said on his postgame radio show. "The effort is there, but we need just a little bit better execution and to make some plays when it matters."

Wofford, led by 19 points from Nathan Hoover, took a 69-58 lead with 53 seconds to play and seemed ready to cruise to its eighth win in the last 10 meetings with The Citadel.

But the Bulldogs reeled off eight straight points, including a steal and dunk from point guard Tyson Batiste, to close to within 69-66 with 15 seconds left.

Hoover hit two free throws to make it 71-66 with 10 seconds to go, but a Batiste bucket made it 71-68 with 6 seconds left. Hoover hit two more free throws, and Batiste made a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the final margin.

"A little bit of too little, too late," Baucom said. "I'm proud of the guys. They fought the whole game, really competed and fought. We're doing it with smoke and mirrors with so many guys out, having to play small and play some lineups we don't usually play."

The Bulldogs were again without junior forward Hayden Brown (hamstring) and guards Jackson Gammons (stress fracture) and Jerry Higgins (knee).

Harris, who missed the Western Carolina game while at a relative's funeral, hit 11 of 19 shots for his career-best 32 points, adding 12 rebounds. Freshman Fletcher Abee added 14 points, and Batiste finished with 10.

But the Bulldogs got little from other usually reliable contributors, as top scorer Kaiden Rice was 1 of 9 from the field and center Eddie Davis III played just 14 minutes before fouling out with no points.

The Citadel shot just 35.9 percent from the field and 10 of 33 from 3-point range.

"It was really a two-man game between Fletcher and Kaelon," Baucom said. "We've got to have more weapons than that. But a lot of credit to Wofford, they guarded us and made everything difficult for us."

Tray Hollowell scored 12 points and Chevez Goodwin, who began his college career at College of Charleston, added 11 points, seven rebounds and four blocks for Wofford, which led by 14 in the second half.

Wofford, the top 3-point shooting team in the SoCon at 38.6 percent, made just 7 of 27 from distance. 

Harris scored The Citadel's first nine points and totaled 16 in the first half as the Bulldogs trailed 30-29 at the break.

The Citadel returns home to face UNC Greensboro on Wednesday.

Reach Jeff Hartsell at 843-937-5596. Follow on Twitter @Jeff_fromthePC