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Paladins Edge Catamounts To Win Sixth Straight Home Game, 62-60

Geoff Beans
Geoff Beans

Highlights

Niko Medved Postgame // Geoff Beans Postgame

Greenville, S.C. -- Sophomore Geoff Beans scored 16 points to lead four Paladins in double figures and Furman denied Western Carolina on a last second layup attempt to down the Catamounts, 62-60, in Southern Conference men's basketball action on Thursday night at Timmons Arena.

After Stephen Croone hit 1-of-2 free throws to give the Paladins a 62-60 lead with 11.5 seconds left, Western Carolina's Mike Brown penetrated down the right side of the lane.  His layup was deflected by Matt Rafferty and Justin Browning grabbed the offensive board, but the ball was knocked away from the Catamount forward as time expired and Furman upped its home record to 9-1 on the season.

The victory, Furman's third straight overall and sixth in a row at Timmons Arena, improved the Paladins to 12-10 on the season and 6-3 in SoCon play. Western Carolina fell to 8-13 overall and 3-5 in the league.

Beans totaled 10 first half points and the Paladins converted on 10-of-13 free throws in the opening 20 minutes to carry a 33-22 lead into the halftime break. Furman held a 37-26 advantage with under 17:25 to play when Western Carolina reeled off an 18-2 run, including three consecutive three-pointers, and claimed a 44-39 lead on Mike Brown's free throw with 10:45 left.

Kris Acox scored back-to-back layups to cut the lead to one and Croone converted on three straight free throws to put Furman back in front 46-44 with 7:54 remaining. The Catamounts tied the game on a pair of Brown free throws with 5:56 to play before Beans put Furman in front for good by draining three consecutive free throws after being fouled on a three-point attempt in front of the Paladins' bench. On the next Furman possession, Beans took a pass from Devin Sibley and stroked a three from the left wing to up the margin to 52-48 with 4:05 to go.

Western Carolina got within two points twice in the final minutes, including on Rhett Harrelson's layup with 30 seconds to play.  After the Catamounts fouled Croone and he made 1-of-2 at the charity stripe, Browning scored on the break, but Croone made the back end of a two-shot foul and Rafferty's rejection made the lead stand for the Paladins.

Furman shot 47.4% from the field, including 8-of-16 in the second half. The Paladins connected on 22-of-31 trips to the foul line and Furman's bench outscored the Catamount reserves 22-2 on the night.

Beans hit 3-of-4 threes to match his season-high 16 points, while Sibley made 5-of-8 shots from the floor to finish with 13 points. Croone finished 10-of-14 at the foul line and Acox connected on 5-of-6 field goal attempts as the pair scored 12 points apiece.  Rafferty added nine rebounds and four steals.

The Catamounts shot 40.7%, but made only 6-of-24 three-point attempts and 10-of-23 free throws. WCU recorded 13 steals and forced 18 turnovers while holding a 32-18 edge in points in the paint.

Brown paced the Catamounts with 27 points on 9-of-18 shooting.  Browning added 11 points and eight rebounds.

Furman is back in action on Saturday at 4 p.m. when it hosts the ETSU Bucs at Timmons Arena. Tickets for Saturday afternoon's game are still available and can be purchased online at FurmanPaladins.com or by visiting the Timmons Arena Box Office. Furman students receive free admission with a valid student ID.

The game will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. Saturday's contest can also be heard on the Furman IMG Radio Network at WGOG 101.7FM and FoxSports 1440AM, as well as, on your mobile device through the TuneIn Radio app. Links for the video stream, radio broadcast and live statistics are be posted at FurmanPaladins.com.



Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information