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Coleman, Free Throw Shooting Help Presbyterian Escape Furman, 75-71

Jordan Loyd
Jordan Loyd

Clinton, S.C. – Senior Al'Lonzo Coleman scored 24 points and Presbyterian converted on all 19 of its second half free throw attempts to hold off Furman, 75-71, in non-conference men's basketball action on Tuesday night at the Templeton Center.

Presbyterian (5-5) led 73-63 with under three minutes remaining when Furman mounted a furious rally.  Dominic Early made the front end of a two-shot foul and, after a pair of offensive rebounds, Brandon Sebirumbi scored in the paint to trim the margin to 73-66 with 2:10 to play. Jordan Loyd, who netted a career-best nine points on the night, stole the ball from Pierre Miller on the ensuing possession and buried a pair of free throws on the other end to pull the Paladins within 73-68.

The Blue Hose worked deep into the shot clock on their next possession, but Josh Johnson missed a three and Loyd answered on the other end by draining a triple from the top of the key with 43 seconds left to cut the PC lead to 73-71.  Once again Presbyterian worked the shot clock down before Khalid Mutakabbir fired a free throw line jumper that missed.  Loyd grabbed the board and hurled a long pass to Bobby Austin, but the senior was unable to catch up with the full court toss giving PC the basketball with 5.2 seconds to play.  

The Paladins (6-5) fouled Eric Washington on the inbounds and the guard completed PC's 26-of-28 night at the foul line by converting on both shots for the final 75-71 margin.

Furman led by as many as nine points before carrying a 37-33 lead into halftime.  The Blue Hose, who trailed 37-28 with four minutes to play in the second half, continued a run in which they outscored the Paladins 19-5 to take a 47-42 lead on Coleman's layup with 15:14 to play.

The Paladins battled back with a 10-4 run of their own to regain the lead at 52-51 on Sebirumbi's three-point play with 11:47 remaining, but PC responded with a 10-0 run of its own to grab the lead for good.

Furman shot a season-best 53.3% from the floor, including 6-of-13 shooting beyond the arc, and made good on 17-of-24 trips to the foul line.  Sebirumbi paced the Paladins with a career-high 20 points while Bryson Barnes reached double figures with 10 points and a team-high five rebounds.  

Coleman, 8-of-12 from the field, added 11 rebounds to go with his 24 points while Mutakabbir totaled 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor and a 6-for-7 effort at the foul line.  The Blue Hose shot 46.9% from the field despite connecting on only 3-of-13 three-point attempts.

PC outscored Furman 40-28 in the paint and 12-6 on second chance points.

The Paladins cap their pre-Christmas schedule with a 7 p.m. contest at the University of Georgia on Friday.  The game will be televised live by Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS) and streamed live on ESPN3.com.

Furman fans can also follow all the action of Friday's game with play-by-play voice Dan Scott and color commentator Ron Smith on WOLT-FM 103.3, WGOG-FM 96.3 and through Stretch Audio at www.FurmanPaladins.com.