Greenville, S.C. – Senior Brandon Sebirumbi tallied 19 points and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds to lead Furman past Chattanooga, 65-55, in the home finale for the Paladins on Thursday evening on YP.com Court at Timmons Arena.
The Fort Worth, Texas, product celebrated Senior Night by connecting on 5-of-7 field goal attempts and 9-of-16 trips to the foul line in just 24 minutes of action as Furman improved to 14-14 overall and 8-9 in Southern Conference play by topping the Mocs for the fifth time in their last six meetings. Chattanooga lost for the 11th time in its last 12 games while falling to 10-20 overall and 4-13 in league play. The Mocs capped the regular season at 0-14 on the road.
Furman led by eight at 50-42 with over six minutes remaining when junior Bryant Irwin keyed the decisive run for the Paladins. With Furman having connected on just 1-of-18 three-point attempts to that point, Irwin drained a triple and followed Jordan Loyd's free throw on the next possession with another trey to put the Paladins ahead at 57-42 with 4:51 to play. After Bryson Barnes and Chattanooga's Z. Mason traded baskets in the paint, freshman David Brown and Barnes each buried a three-pointer to up the Furman lead to 65-44 with 3:09 left.
Chattanooga would score the final 11 points, including five in the final 10 seconds, but Furman would hold on to finish the regular season with a 9-5 mark at Timmons Arena.
The Paladins grabbed a 30-26 halftime lead despite missing all 10 of their first half three-point attempts and shooting just 10-of-18 at the foul line. Furman saw double digit leads dwindle back to five points and eight points, respectively, in the second half before making four of its final five shots beyond the arc to pull away from the Mocs.
Loyd tallied 10 points to join Sebirumbi in double figures while adding six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Barnes chipped in with nine points and six rebounds.
Furman held the Mocs to 31.5% shooting from the floor and just 5-of-19 shooting beyond the arc. The Paladins, who converted on 41.5% of their field goal attempts and 5-of-23 three-point attempts, fashioned a 43-33 edge in rebounding and outscored the Mocs in the paint 26-18.
A total of 40 combined fouls were whistled in the contest with Chattanooga making good on 16-of-24 trips to the foul line and Furman draining only 16-of-29 of its shots from the charity stripe.
Ricky Taylor led the Mocs with 13 points and Ronrico White came off of the bench to add 10.
The Paladins, who are lock into fifth place in the SoCon South Division standings following College of Charleston win over Georgia Southern on Thursday, close out the regular season on Saturday evening when they travel to Spartanburg, S.C., to face the Wofford Terriers. Tip-off at the Benjamin Johnson Arena is set for 7 p.m.
Furman fans can follow all the action of Saturday's game on the radio with play-by-play voice Dan Scott on WOLT-FM 103.3, WGOG-FM 96.3 and through Stretch Audio at www.FurmanPaladins.com.