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Navy Races Past Cold-Shooting Furman, 62-49

John Davis III
John Davis III

Annapolis, Md. -- Navy held Furman to 30.6% shooting and used a 22-0 first half run to down the Paladins, 62-49, in non-conference men's basketball action on Tuesday evening at Alumni Hall in Annapolis, Md.

Tim Abruzzo cam off of the bench to hit on 5-of-7 three-point attempts to lead the Midshipmen with a career-high 16 points, while Tilman Dunbar and Jace Hogan added 13 and 10 points, respectively, as Navy improved to 9-4 on the season. Furman fell to 6-6.

After the Paladins grabbed an early 9-5 lead on Devin Sibley's slashing layup with 14:52 to play in the half, Navy took control of the game by holding Furman scoreless for over 10 minutes during a 22-0 spurt.  Shawn Anderson scored the first five points of the run and Tilman totaled seven points during the decisive stretch to help the Midshipmen build a 27-9 lead with under five minutes left in the period.

An 11-0 run early in the second half, capped by a Will Kelly slam, extended the Navy lead to 47-22 with 13:29 left before Furman began to chip away at the margin. Kendrec Ferrara netted back-to-back baskets to ignite a 12-1 Furman run that pulled the Paladins with 14 points at 48-34 on Stephen Croone's free throw with 9:05 to play.  Abruzzo, however, drained a three-pointer on Navy's next possession and answered a Ferrara bucket with another trey to push the margin back to 54-36 with 7:13 left.

Nine free throws keyed a late Furman run that trimmed the deficit to 11 points with 2:36 remaining, but Navy held on to win for the ninth time in its last 11 outings.

The Midshipmen shot 41.7%, including 7-for-13 from three-point range, and managed a 42-30 rebounding edge that led to 13 second chance points. Tom Lacey grabbed nine rebounds and Hogan added eight as Navy managed 12 offensive boards.

Furman connected on just 3-of-21 three-point attempts and 15-of-49 shots overall.  Croone tallied 15 points, five boards and two steals to pace the Paladins. Daniel Fowler netted nine points and John Davis III added seven points and four assists.

The Paladins dropped to 6-5 with a 70-50 loss at NCAA RPI No. 8 Dayton on Saturday night in Dayton, Ohio.  Furman shot 42.9% in the first half and outscored the Flyers in the paint 14-8 to trail 31-29 at the break, but Dayton dominated the glass in the second half and shot 54% from the floor to pull away from the Paladins. Geoff Beans paced the Paladins with 12 points, while Stephen Croone added 11 points.

Furman will take a break for Christmas before returning to action on Tuesday, December 29, with a 7 p.m. contest at UNC Asheville.

Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information