Statesboro, Ga. – Georgia Southern held Furman without a basket for over six and half minutes midway through the second half and finished the game on a 30-11 run to top the Paladins, 78-61, in Southern Conference men's basketball action on Saturday evening at Hanner Fieldhouse.
The loss, Furman's eighth straight, dropped the Paladins to 6-21 overall and 3-13 in league play. Georgia Southern improved to 12-17 overall and 6-10 in the SoCon while earning a regular season series split with Furman.
Bobby Austin buried a pair of free throws with 11:56 remaining to put the Paladins in front 50-48, but the Eagles held Furman without a basket from the 12:29 mark of the second half until 5:57 remaining while fashioning a 13-0 run to take a 61-50 lead. Furman trimmed the deficit back to single digits twice, but Georgia Southern's Eric Ferguson recorded three consecutive dunks to help the Eagles pull away.
C.J. Reed scored 14 points and added eight assists to pace four Eagles in double figures. Cleon Roberts netted 13 points while Tre Bussey and Ferguson tallied 11 points apiece. GSU shot 47.3% from the floor and connected on 15-of-31 three-point attempts. The Eagles' bench outscored the Paladins' reserves 25-0 and GSU managed a 33-31 edge in rebounding.
Senior Colin Reddick scored a game-high 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting, and Bobby Austin and Bryant Irwin added 13 and 12 points, respectively, for Furman. The Paladins shot just 37.3% from the field and made just 8-of-23 three-point attempts in the loss.
Georgia Southern used a 12-1 first half run to open up a double digit advantage before Furman fought back to cut the margin to 30-27 at intermission. The Eagles extended the lead to nine points in the second half, but Austin, Irwin and Kendrec Ferrara combined to hit three consecutive treys to pull Furman even at 45-45 with 13:14 left. The Paladins answered a GSU trey with a three-point play by Reddick and two Austin free throws to move in front before going scoreless for almost six minutes as the Eagles grabbed the lead for good.
Furman was limited to just seven available players due to injuries and had three players play 40 minutes versus the Eagles. With their eight straight defeat, the Paladins reached their longest losing skid since the 2008-09 campaign.
Furman plays its final road game of the regular season on Thursday when it travel to The Citadel for a 7:05 p.m. contest before hosting College of Charleston in the regular season finale on March 2, at 4 p.m.
Both games will be aired live on 103.3 WOLT-FM and 96.3 WGOG-FM with Dan Scott providing play-by-play.
Fans can follow live statistics for both games and listen to the live steaming broadcast thru Stretch Audio by logging onto www.FurmanPaladins.com.