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Furman Downs UNCW, 90-84; Paladins Claim Fifth Straight Victory

Devin Sibley (photo courtesy of UNCW)
Devin Sibley (photo courtesy of UNCW)

Wilmington, N.C. -- Senior Devin Sibley scored a season-high 24 points to lead four Paladins in double figures as Furman claimed its fifth consecutive victory with a 90-84 triumph over three-time defending CAA regular season champion UNCW on Sunday afternoon at Trask Coliseum.

Furman (9-3) shot 56.4% from the field and connected on 13-of-26 three-point attempts to score its third  victory in three tries this season against CAA opposition. UNCW (2-7) shot 47.8%, but Furman held the Seahawks to a 5-for-19 shooting effort from three-point range and managed an 18-16 rebounding edge in the second half.

Sibley, 9-of-11 from the field, hit 4-of-5 from three-point range and added four boards and four assists. Junior Andrew brown made four of his five three-point attempts to tally a season-best 18 points, while forward Matt Rafferty hit 7-of-9 shots to finish with 16 points and nine rebounds. John Davis III rounded out the Paladins' double figure scorers with 14 points, including a 3-for-3 outing behind the arc.

Both teams shot over 50% in the first half as the lead changed hands eight times in the opening 20 minutes. Furman ended the period on a 9-3 spurt that included a pair of Rafferty baskets and a Sibley trey to take a 47-44 advantage into the locker room.

The Seahawks grabbed a 48-47 lead early in the second half before three-pointers from Brown, Davis and Sibley powered the Paladins to a 9-1 run and 56-49 lead with under 18:30 to play. Furman extended the margin to 79-66 on Daniel Fowler's jumper with 8:53 to go for its largest margin of the game.

UNCW scored the next nine points to trim the lead to four points with under six minutes to play. Ty Taylor's triple with 3:53 to go cut Furman's lead to 83-80 before Davis answered with a floater in the lane. The Seahawks climbed back within three, but Furman got stops on the next two UNCW possessions and upped the lead to 87-82 on Sibley's driving layup with 1:17 remaining.

Jordon Talley scored for UNCW and the Seahawks got the ball back with under a minute to go, but Brown rebounded Taylor's miss at the rim and drained two free throws with 12.5 seconds left to secure the win.

Davontae Cacock led UNCW with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Talley scored 21 points and Jaylen Fornes added 20.

Furman concludes its non-conference schedule on Wednesday when it visits No. 20 Tennessee. Tip-off in Knoxville is set for 9 p.m. and the game will air live on the SEC Network.

Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information