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Samford Rallies To Down Furman, 68-58

Stephen Croone
Stephen Croone

Birmingham, Ala. -- Samford rallied from an 18-point first half deficit to down the Furman Paladins, 68-58, in Southern Conference men's basketball action on Saturday night at the Pete Hanna Center in Birmingham, Ala.

With its third straight win, Samford improved to 10-14 overall and 3-8 in league play.  Furman dropped to 7-14 overall and 4-6 in the SoCon.

Stephen Croone scored Furman's first 13 points as the Paladins raced out to a 22-4 lead in the game's opening 7:30.  The Paladins made nine consecutive field goal attempts after missing their first two shots of the game and maintained a 24-6 advantage following Devin Sibley's free throws with 11:51 to play in the first half.

Samford, however, held the Paladins to only one made field goal over the final 12:30 of the half and used a 23-5 run to knot the game at 29-29 at the break.  Furman scored the first basket of the second half on a driving layup by Croone, but the Paladins were held without a field goal for over 5:30 as Samford used a 12-1 run to take a 41-32 lead on Darius Jones-Gibson's bucket with 13:35 remaining.  The score capped a 35-8 spurt for the Bulldogs over a span of 18:16.

The Bulldogs forced Furman into 17 turnovers that led to 25 points and held the Paladins to just 1-for-14 shooting behind the arc in the second half.  Jones-Gibson scored 19 points to pace four Bulldogs in double figures as Samford completed the comeback despite shooting just 39.3% from the field and hitting only 4-of-17 three-point attempts.  Senior Tyler Hood tallied 17 points while freshmen Christen Cunningham and Evan Taylor scored 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Croone finished with a game-high 28 points and eight rebounds.  He connected on 10-of-16 shots and converted on 4-of-6 trips to the foul line.  Freshman Daniel Fowler added 11 points, five boards and two assists as Furman shot 40.9% and managed a 34-33 edge on the glass.

The Paladins will look to bounce back on Thursday when they entertain the Chattanooga Mocs in Timmons Arena.  Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.  The game will be streamed live on the SoCon Digital Network and can also be heard live 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.  The audio broadcast will be available by logging onto  Links for the broadcast and live statistics will be available at

Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information