Greenville, S.C. – Sophomore Charlie Reddick notched his first career double-double with 16 points and a career-high 14 rebounds to help Furman down Georgia Southern, 64-54, in Southern Conference men's basketball action on Thursday evening on YP.com Court at Timmons Arena.
The victory, Furman's third straight over the Eagles and fifth in its last six meetings against GSU, improved the Paladins to 9-9 overall and 3-4 in SoCon play. Georgia Southern dipped to 6-11 overall and 4-3 in the conference.
The teams traded the lead six times in the opening eight minutes before Furman used an 11-2 spurt, including five points from senior Bryson Barnes, to fashion a 23-15 advantage. Georgia Southern reeled off eight straight points to tie the game, but Furman capped the period on a 12-2 run to carry a 35-25 lead into intermission.
Chris Toler opened the second half with a layup, Reddick drained a triple and Brandon Sebirumbi finished in the paint off an assist from David Brown to extend the Paladins' lead to 42-25 with 16:55 to play. Georgia Southern, however, held the Paladins scoreless for the next 7:04 while putting together a 12-0 run that trimmed the Furman lead to just 42-37 on Willie Powers' free throws with 11:02 to play.
Barnes pushed the margin back to 11 points on two occasions only to have the Eagles work the deficit back inside eight points both times. Furman led 55-48 with under three minutes remaining and the shot clock about to expire when Sebirumbi grabbed a loose ball and was fouled beyond the arc as he attempted a desperation trey. The Fort Worth, Texas, native buried all three free throw attempts to up the lead to 10 and Reddick finished at the basket on the Paladins' nest possession to put the game out of reach.
Reddick converted on 4-of-11 field goal attempts, 6-of-7 trips to the line and dished out five assists while becoming the first Paladin since Gerad Punch in 2007 to grab 14 rebounds in a game. Sebirumbi connected on 5-of-9 shots from the floor and 6-of-8 at the charity stripe to finish with 16 points and nine boards. Barnes also reached double figures with 12 points. Brown, who earned his first start in place of injured point guards Richard Brown and Jordan Loyd, totaled six points, three boards, three assists and three steals while committing just one turnover on 30 minutes of action.
The Paladins shot only 41.2% from the field, but drained 8-of-21 three-point attempts and made good on 14-of-18 trips to the foul line. Furman managed a 42-28 advantage on the glass and grabbed 13 offensive rebounds.
Forward Eric Ferguson led three Eagles in double figures with 15 points and eight rebounds. Ben Drayton III and Tre Bussey added 11 and 10 points, respectively, for Georgia Southern which shot just 34% from the field. The Eagles forced 20 Furman turnovers and scored 29 points off of turnovers to hang around to the final minutes.
Furman returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Upstate rival Wofford in a 4 p.m. contest at Timmons Arena. Tickets are available at the Timmons Arena Ticket Office or by logging onto www.FurmanPaladins.com.
Furman fans can follow all the action of Saturday's game on the radio 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.