Greenville, S.C. -- Greg Mortimer's floater from the left side of the lane bounced off the back iron and dropped through with 2.7 seconds remaining to lift South Carolina State to a 69-67 victory over Furman on Friday night at Timmons Arena.
With the victory, the Bulldogs snapped Furman's three-game winning streak and improved to 3-8 on the season, while the Paladins slipped to 6-5.
Furman's Daniel Fowler scored 11 straight points as part of an 11-1 run to erase an eight-point S.C. State lead and give the Paladins a 62-60 advantage on his layup from a Kris Acox assist with 4:07 to play. The Bulldogs tied the game at the foul line with 2:40 remaining and took a 65-64 lead on Edward Stephens' three-point basket with 2:00 to play following a basket by Furman's John Davis III.
Fowler answered for the Paladins with a go-ahead triple off of an assist from Devin Sibley with 1:35 to go, but South Carolina State's Tashombe Riley rebounded a Paladin miss on the next possession, rebounded his own miss on the offensive end and converted the put-back to knot the game at 67-67 with 33 seconds to play.
Following a Furman timeout, Fowler penetrated down the left side of the lane only to be whistled for a charge as he released his shot. The Bulldogs advanced the ball into the front court and called timeout before Mortimer took his defender one-on-one and got the friendly bounce on his shot from the paint with under three seconds left. After another Furman timeout, Matt Rafferty's one-handed pass into the frontcourt setup a last look for Fowler, but the junior's shot from more than 25 feet out missed as time expired.
Guard Eric Eaves led the Bulldogs with 17 points, while Riley posted a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. James Richardson totaled 10 points on 3-for-5 shooting behind the arc and Mortimer added nine points.
South Carolina State shot 43.1% from the floor and connected on 7-of-9 trips to the foul line, all in the second half. The Bulldogs committed just eight turnovers, held the Paladins to 39% shooting and managed a 13-9 edge in second chance points, despite Furman holding a 41-35 rebounding edge.
Fowler connected on 6-of-13 shots to lead Furman with 16 points, while Sibley and Davis provided 13 and 11 points, respectively. Davis added five boards and five assists without committing a turnover in 31 minutes of action.
The Bulldogs hit five first half treys to propel them to a 37-32 lead at the break and pushed their advantage to as many as 11 points before Fowler sparked the Paladins' second half rally.
Furman caps its pre-holiday schedule and the non-conference schedule with a trip to Tennessee Tech on Monday night and a clash at Michigan on Thursday, December 22. Monday's game will be streamed on the OVC Digital Network and can be heard on Furman flagship station FoxSports 1440AM or via the TuneIn Radio app. Links for the stream, audio broadcast and live statistics can be found at FurmanPaladins.com.
Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information