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Second Half Defense Helps Furman Cruise Past St. Andrews, 72-35

Devin Sibley
Devin Sibley

Greenville, S.C. -- Furman held St. Andrews to just 14 second-half points and 4-of-16 shooting over the final 20 minutes as the Paladins pulled away for a 72-35 victory over the Knights in non-conference men's basketball action at Timmons Arena on Tuesday night.

The victory snapped a four-game skid and improved the Paladins to 3-8 on the season as they prepare to return to Southern Conference play on Saturday night at Chattanooga.

Leading 30-21 at intermission, freshman Geoff Beans opened the second period with a three-pointer to ignite a 31-4 Furman run.  The Paladins outscored St. Andrews 16-1 over the opening 6:55 of the period before Tahj Scott recorded the Knights' first field goal of the half with 13:05 remaining.  Furman followed the basket with a 17-0 spurt, including five straight points from Devin Sibley, as it held the Knights without another score until the 6:41 mark to stretch its lead to 61-25.

The Paladins turned 20 St. Andrews' turnovers into 28 points and outscored the visitors 32-16 in the paint.  Furman managed a 36-25 edge on the glass and posted a 16-5 edge in second chance points.

Sibley and fellow freshman Daniel Fowler paced the Paladins with 12 points apiece, while junior Stephen Croone reached double figures for the 30th consecutive game by adding 10 points on 3-for-4 shooting.  Croone added seven assists and Fowler registered a career-best four steals.  Junior Kendrec Ferrara grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds to go with eight points as the Paladins shot 48.1% from the field, including 53.3% in the second half.

After connecting on just 3-of-15 first half three-point attempts, the Paladins carried a nine-point cushion into the locker room.  In the second period, they forced 13 turnovers and allowed only 16 shot attempts to shut down St. Andrews' offense.

Jeff Gulley led the Knights with nine points in 37 minutes of action.  St. Andrews shot just 31.7% from the floor and converted on 4-of-15 three-point tries.

Furman steps back into conference play on Saturday at 7 p.m. when it faces the Chattanooga Mocs at the McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Fans can listen to the broadcast of Saturday's SoCon tilt on the Furman IMG Sports Network on flagship station WGOG 96.3 FM and Fox Sports 1440 AM with play-by-play voice Dan Scott and color commentator Ron Smith delivering the action.  The audio broadcast will also be available by logging onto Tunein.com.  A free stream of the game will also be available on the SoCon Digital Network.  Links for the broadcast and live statistics will be available at FurmanPaladins.com.

Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information