Greenville, S.C. – Bobby Austin and Dominic Early poured in career-highs with 17 and 14 points, respectively, to lead Furman to a 77-45 win of The Citadel in Southern Conference men's basketball action before a crowd of 1,239 on Thursday evening on YP.com Court at Timmons Arena.
The win, Furman's fourth straight over the Bulldogs and 10th in its last 11 contests against The Citadel in Greenville, improved the Paladins to 7-7 overall and 1-2 in league play while halting a three-game skid. The Citadel dropped to 3-11 overall and 0-3 in SoCon play.
Furman, which led the game wire-to-wire, raced out to a 10-0 lead in the opening three minutes before The Citadel trimmed the margin to one with a 13-4 spurt of its own. Leading 16-15 with under 10 minutes to play in the half, seven different Paladins scored during a 19-4 run to end the period as Furman carried a 35-19 lead into the locker room.
The Citadel started the second half with the hot hand, reeling off 10 straight points to cut the Paladin advantage to 35-29 at the 15:58 mark. The Bulldogs held Furman scoreless for the opening 6:06 of the period while forcing six turnovers.
Furman answered the run with back-to-back triples from Bryant Irwin and Austin to increase the margin to 41-29. Mike Groselle, who entered the game averaging a double-double, responded with a pair of baskets before Early drained a pair of three-pointers in a decisive 12-0 run that gave Furman a 52-33 lead on Colin Reddick's jumper in the paint with 8:33 to play.
The Paladins, who outscored the Bulldogs 42-26 in the second half, shot 62.5% from the field after the break to finish at a season-best 55.1% from the floor. Furman connected on 13-of-29 triples and 10-of-12 free throws while recording a 31-28 edge on the boards.
Austin connected on 6-of-7 field goal attempts, including 5-of-6 from long range, to best his previous career-high of 16 points set against Jacksonville in the Paladins' last home game on December 11. Early buried 4-of-8 three-point attempts in 17 minutes of action for his career-high while Irwin chipped in with 10 points. Point guard Richard Brown scored nine points, dished out five assists and did not commit a turnover in 28 minutes of work.
Cosmo Morabbi led the Bulldogs with 14 points and four assists. Groselle added 10 points and a game-high eight rebounds. The Citadel shot just 38% from the field, including 2-of-11 from three-point range, and made only 1-of-5 free throw attempts.
Furman returns to action on Saturday when it hosts the College of Charleston at 2:30 p.m. in a game that will be televised live on Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS). The contest will follow a noon tip-off between the Furman women's team and Davidson that will also be aired on CSS.
Furman fans can follow all the action of Saturday's game with play-by-play voice Dan Scott and color commentator Clyde Mayes on WOLT-FM 103.3, WGOG-FM 96.3 and through Stretch Audio at www.FurmanPaladins.com.
The "All-Inclusive Ticket" is available for Saturday's game by visiting www.FurmanPaladins.com or at the Furman Ticket Office at Timmons Arena.