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Presbyterian Holds Off Furman In Season Opener, 73-71

Daniel Fowler
Daniel Fowler

Clinton, S.C. -- Presbyterian's Reggie Dillard drained a jumper from the left side of the lane with 2.4 seconds remaining to break a 71-71 tie as the Blue Hose downed Furman, 73-71, in the men's basketball season opener for both schools on Friday night at the Templeton Center.

After Furman's John Davis III converted on a pair of free throws with 10.9 seconds left to pull the Paladins even and PC called timeout to setup its last shot, Dillard penetrated into the lane and hit his pull-up jumper over his defender to put the Blue Hose in front. Furman head coach Niko Medved called a timeout to setup the Paladins' last play. On the inbounds, Andrew Brown hurled a one-handed baseball pass to Sibley, who flashed to the top of the key. The Knoxville, Tenn., native spun and fired a contested three-pointer that bounced off the front iron twice before falling away as time expired.

Furman had built a 41-34 lead in the opening moments of the second half after carrying a one-point lead into the locker room, but Presbyterian used a 10-0 run to go in front 44-41. The lead would change hands four more times and PC held a 69-67 lead with under two minutes left when Sibley hit a jumper to knot the game. The Paladins got a stop of the Blue Hose's next possession, but Geoff Beans was whistled with a foul on the offensive end with 1:16 remaining.

Davon Bell scored on a drive to the basket with 43 seconds to go to give the advantage back to PC and Beans missed a potential go-ahead three on Furman's next opportunity. Davis stole the ball, drew a two-shot foul and made both free throws to tie the game again prior to Dillard's game-winning basket.

Jo'Vontae Millner led PC with 17 points and seven rebounds, while J.C. Younger netted all 15 of his points in the second half. Bell and Dillard rounded out PC's double figure scorers with 14 and 10 points, respectively.

Sibley connected on 9-of-17 shots and 6-of-7 free throw attempts to pace all scorers with 26 points and Daniel Fowler contributed a career-best 14 points and seven assists. Davis and Beans added 11 points apiece for the Paladins, who shot 42.9% from the floor and made 11-of-31 treys, but hit just 12-of-20 free throw attempts.

Presbyterian shot 48.1% from the field, including 57.1% in the second half. The Blue Hose connected on 15-of-18 free throws and held a 32-24 scoring edge in the paint.

The Paladins visit Birmingham, Ala., to face UAB in the CBA Hall of Fame Classic on Monday at 8 p.m. ET at Bartow Arena before continuing play in the CBA Hall of Fame Classic at Georgia next Thursday night on the SEC Network.


Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information