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Paladins Rally Late To Top Liberty, 61-58

Daniel Fowler
Daniel Fowler

Highlights

Lynchburg, Va. -- Juniors Daniel Fowler and Devin Sibley tallied 14 points apiece and both drained a pair of free throws in the final 16 seconds to rally Furman to a 61-58 victory over Liberty in non-conference men's basketball action on Tuesday night at the Vines Center in Lynchburg, Va.

With the Paladins trailing by three points and the shot clock winding down, Sibley buried a three-pointer from the right wing to knot the game at 53-53 with under 2:30 to play. Fowler put Furman in front, 55-53, on a driving layup at 1:37 and Kris Acox followed a defensive stop by grabbing an offensive board and finishing at the rim with just 34 seconds left to give the Paladins a 57-53 advantage.

Liberty's Caleb Homesley hit two free throws on the Flames' next possession and the home team called timeout after forcing a Furman turnover on the inbounds pass. Following the timeout, John Dawson missed a three-pointer and Sibley grabbed the rebound. The Knoxville, Tenn., native converted on a pair of free throw attempts on the other end to restore the four-point Paladin lead before Dawson connected on a trey with 11 seconds remaining to trim the Furman lead to 59-58.

Fowler, who was fouled on the Paladin inbounds pass, made both of his free throws with eight seconds left and Homesley's long trey from the top of the key missed as Furman secured its second road win of the campaign.

"This was just a great, hard-fought win tonight," said Paladin head coach Niko Medved. "It wasn't pretty and wasn't going our way at all, but I thought our kids showed a lot of resiliency to stay with it. We were able to finally get stops, and sometimes you just have to find a way to win on the road."

Furman (5-4) trailed 27-20 at the break after shooting just 30.8% from the floor in the opening 20 minutes. The Paladin opened the second half by making nine of their first 11 shots to take a 43-40 lead on John Davis III's triple with 10:52 left, but Furman went almost six minutes without a field goal as Liberty (4-5) regained the lead before Sibley's key trey with 2:24 to play.

Furman shot 58.3% in the second half to finish at 44% from the field and hit 9-of-10 free throws in the final period to go 10-of-13 from the charity stripe on the night. Sibley went 4-of-6 from the field and 5-of-6 at the line to total his 14 points, while Fowler was 5-of-8 from the floor and hit all three of his free throw attempts. Jordan Lyons added 10 points on 3-for-7 shooting beyond the arc and Matt Rafferty contributed six points, seven rebounds and three steals.

Ryan Kemrite led Liberty with 18 points. Dawson and Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz added 11 and 10 pints, respectively, for the Flames who shot 40.4% from the field and made 11-of-12 shots at the foul line.

Furman managed a 29-28 rebounding edge and outscored the Flames 30-14 in the paint.

The Paladins travel to Gardner-Webb on Saturday for a 3 p.m. battle with the Runnin' Bulldogs.

Furman play-by-play voice Dan Scott will host the Head Coach Niko Medved Show on Wednesday at Shortfield's Restaurant in Travelers Rest, S.C., beginning at 6:30 p.m. The show can be heard on FoxSports 1440AM and on the TuneIn Radio app.

 

Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information