The Citadel has lost a lot of basketball games in its history, but the last three defeats might have been as painful as any.
A 78-72 double-overtime loss at Georgia Southern on Monday night came on the heels of last week's 31-point drubbing at Davidson and UNC Greensboro's miracle at McAlister Field House.
"They are all tough, all painful," coach Chuck Driesell said after Georgia Southern made 12 of 14 free throws in the second overtime to pull away at Hanner Fieldhouse in Statesboro, Ga.
"But I'm really proud of our guys," he said. "They bounced back after a really tough loss at Davidson, but we didn't finish it out. I think our guys are hurting just as much right now as they were at Davidson, because they really want to win."
The Citadel (4-15, 1-7 Southern Conference) has lost four in a row, including UNCG's game-winning dunk with 0.2 seconds left and the blowout at Davidson, when the Bulldogs fell behind 30-2 at the start.
But the Bulldogs were not lacking effort at Georgia Southern (8-11, 6-3), which was coming off a home win over College of Charleston.
Junior center Mike Groselle played 49 of 50 minutes and scored 20 points with 14 rebounds, the 18th double-double of his career.
The Bulldogs led by 51-46 with seven minutes left in regulation, but needed a DeVontae Wright 3-pointer with 26 seconds left and Marshall Harris' end-to-end drive with one second left to force the first overtime at 60-60.
Each team scored only four points in the first extra five-minute period, forcing a second overtime at 64-64. Georgia Southern scored the first three points on free throws, and The Citadel never caught up again.
The Eagles, led by Willie Powers with 19 points, hit 24 of 31 free throws to just 6 of 11 for the Bulldogs.
"You've got to look at the free throw stat," Driesell said. "You do the math. That's a lot of points they got at the free throw line. We'll have to watch the film and see why that is."
Freshman guard Marshall Harris played a career-high 32 minutes and was paired often with starter Wright, scoring 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
"He and DeVontae played a lot together, and we may have found something there," Driesell said. "It was a big night for Marshall, and he's worked hard for a night like this."
The Citadel is at home Thursday to face Wofford and Saturday against Furman.
"There will be light at the end of the tunnel," Driesell said. "These guys are getting better. I really am encouraged. I'm disappointed we lost, but we saw some good things tonight we can build on."