Jacksonville, Fla. – Furman rallied from a 10-point first half deficit to claim its fourth consecutive win with a 60-49 triumph over the University of North Florida on Saturday evening at the UNF Arena in Jacksonville, Fla.
Senior Jordan Miller scored a game-high 19 points and sophomore Brandon Sebirumbi posted career-bests with 16 points and four assists as the Paladins improved to 7-2 on the season and claimed their fourth road victory of the 2010-11 campaign. The loss dropped UNF to 4-7 on the season.
Trailing 40-37 with under 11 minutes remaining, Furman erupted on a 15-1 run that put the Paladins in control. Miller opened the spurt with a three-pointer to knot the game at 40-40. Following an Ospreys free throw, the Paladins reeled off 12 straight points, highlighted by three baskets from Sebirumbi, to grab a 52-41 advantage with less than four minutes to play.
Furman held North Florida to just 28.6% shooting in the second half and limited the Ospreys to only 49 points, the lowest total by a Paladin opponent this season. The Paladins, playing without second leading scorer Noah States, got just eight points from top scorer Amu Saaka, but converted on 15-of-22 trips to the foul line. North Florida managed just six points in nine trips to the charity stripe.
North Florida built an early 19-9 lead and carried a 27-23 cushion into intermission after connecting on 12-of-24 first half field goal attempts. Furman, which shot 44.4% (20-45) from the field on the night, made good on 47.6% of its second half shot attempts while sinking 15-of-21 free throws in the final period to power past the homestanding Ospreys.
Miller buried four treys to pace the Paladins' offense while Sebirumbi was 7-of-9 shooting from the field. Point guard Darryl Evans added seven points, all at the foul line, and grabbed a career-high eight rebounds.
Andres Diaz led the Ospreys with 14 points and Parker Smith added 10 off of the bench.
Furman returns home for the first time since December 1, when it hosts the University of South Carolina on Wednesday evening at Timmons Arena. Tip-off against the Gamecocks is slated for 7 p.m. and tickets are available at $25 for a reserved seat and $20 for upper level general admission by logging onto www.furmanpaladins.com. As of Friday afternoon, less than 170 reserved seats remained for South Carolina's first visit to Greenville since the 1997-98 season.
Paladin fans can also follow all the action of Wednesday's game versus South Carolina with the "Voice of the Paladins" Chuck Hussion and color commentator Ron Smith on the Furman Network at WGOG-FM 96.3 and WOLT-FM 103.3. Furman basketball can also be heard through Stretch Audio at www.furmanpaladins.com.
Pictured: Brandon Sebirumbi