Citadel takes 9-game skid to SoCon tourney

The Citadel will take a nine-game losing streak into next week’s Southern Conference basketball tournament after falling, 111-95, at VMI on Saturday.

The Bulldogs (10-21, 3-15) are locked into the No. 10 seed for the tournament and will play at 7:30 p.m. next Friday against the No. 7 seed in Asheville, N.C.

Brian White scored 23 points to lead the Bulldogs, who made 13 of 35 (37.1 percent) from 3-point range and outrebounded the Keydets, 44-36.

But the Bulldogs could not slow down VMI, which shot 56 percent from the field and made 11 of 27 from 3-point range for a season-high 111 points.

Q.J. Peterson scored 26 points to lead the Keydets (9-19, 4-13), who avenged a 78-75 loss at The Citadel earlier this season.

“They played amazing, really, really good,” Citadel coach Duggar Baucom said of his former team. “(Coach) Dan Earl has them playing at a high level the last few games. They outcoached us, outworked us, out-toughed us and might have played their best game of the year.”

It was Baucom’s first trip as an opposing coach back to VMI, where he coached for 10 years before coming to The Citadel.

“It was fun, but I wish the outcome had been better,” he said. “But I would not trade where I’m at for the world. It’s just going to take us some time. This (VMI) program was not built in a year, it took some time. My vision when I took the job at The Citadel was to make McAlister Field House look like this. It was a crazy, energized place today, and they deserved to win.”

Derrick Henry added 15 points for the Bulldogs, while Warren Sledge added 12 and P.J. Boutte and Matt Frierson 10 each.

The Citadel’s nine-game skid is its longest since a 17-game slide in 2013-14, and the Bulldogs’ 3-15 league record is their worst since a 2-14 mark that same season.

“It doesn’t matter who we play in the tournament, we have to execute better than we did today,” Baucom said. “We shot the ball better today, but we missed a lot of assignments. We’ve got to try to start believing again in what we are doing.”