Greenville, S.C. – Senior Brian Barbour poured in 19 points to lead three Lions in double figures as Columbia cruised to a 68-47 victory over Furman in the season opener for both teams Saturday evening on YP.com Court at Timmons Arena.
The Lions, who shot 50% from the field in the first half, raced to a 30-7 lead en route to a 37-17 halftime advantage. Columbia pushed its lead to 25 points at 49-24 on Barbour's trey with 12:08 remaining and never let Furman get closer than 18 points the rest of the way to avenge a 62-58 loss to the Paladins in New York, N.Y., last November.
Barbour added eight assists, six rebounds and three steals to go with his game-high 19 points while connecting on 7-of-12 shots from the floor. Guard Steve Frankoski drained four three-pointers to tally 16 points and forward Alex Rosenberg totaled 14 points and a game-high eight rebounds for the Lions.
Furman scored the first two points of the game before Columbia reeled off seven straight points and fashioned a 30-5 run to grab the lead and take control of the game. Seven Lions recorded baskets during the nine minute stretch as Columbia's defense held the Paladins to 2-for-11 shooting from the 18:30 mark of the first half until Keith Belfield converted a layup with 8:45 left in the period.
The Paladins, stifled by Columbia's 2-3 zone defense, managed just 30.8% shooting from the floor for the night and connected on only one of their 17 three-point attempts. Senior Colin Reddick paced the Paladins with 11 points while twin brother Charlie Reddick added seven points and seven rebounds. Belfield and fellow freshman Larry Wideman contributed eight points apiece.
Columbia shot 49.1% from the field and buried 8-of-19 three-point attempts. The Lions out-rebounded Furman 37-33 and held a 30-20 scoring advantage in the paint.
Furman will look to break into the win column on Tuesday when it hosts NAIA member Southern Wesleyan in an 8 p.m. contest at Timmons Arena. Tuesday's game is part of a doubleheader with the Furman women's team as head coach Jackie Carson's squad hosts High Point at 5:30 p.m.
Tickets for Tuesday's doubleheader are available thru Ticketmaster at www.FurmanPaladins.com. Every ticket to Furman men's and women's homes games is an All-Inclusive Ticket, allowing fans free, unlimited trips to the concession stand for hamburgers, hotdogs, Pizza Hut Pizza, nachos and soft drinks.
Fans can follow live statistics and watch live streaming video of Saturday's game by logging onto www.FurmanPaladins.com.
All Furman men's basketball games during 2012-13 season will be broadcast live on 103.3 WOLT-FM and 96.3 WGOG-FM. Each game will also be streamed live thru Stretch Audio at www.FurmanPaladins.com. Dan Scott will provide play-by-play of Tuesday's game with former Paladin guard Ron Smith handling color commentator duties.