Jan. 30, 2008
Greenville, S.C. - Alex Opacic tallied a career-high 21 points and Furman survived a late Bulldog rally to down The Citadel 53-51 in Southern Conference men's basketball action Wednesday evening at Timmons Arena.
With the Bulldogs trailing by two in the final seconds, The Citadel cleared out the lane for Cameron Wells to penetrate, but his 15-foot jumper fell short and Darryl Evans dribbled out the final three seconds to secure Furman's third SoCon victory of the season.
Furman led 47-36 with less than nine minutes remaining in the game, but the Bulldogs held the Paladins to 1-for-3 shooting from the field and 0-for-4 from the line over the next four minutes. Three Bulldogs drained three-pointers and Wells buried a jumper with 4:59 left to cap an 11-2 run as The Citadel pulled within two points.
Furman (4-17, 3-9) pushed the lead back to four points twice, but McDowell answered with a layup in the final two minutes to bring the margin to 53-51. The Paladins ran the shot clock down and grabbed an offensive rebound off of a Jordan Miller miss to eat up more clock. Connor Nolte's three from the corner with less than 30 seconds remaining came up short giving Wells a last chance to tie or win the game.
The Citadel (5-15, 0-11) opened the game on a 9-0 run as Zach Urbanus fed his teammates for three consecutive treys. Furman outscored the Bulldogs 28-14 over the remainder of the period on the strength of 14 bench points to carry a 28-24 lead into the locker room.
The Paladins shot 48.8% from the floor, including 5-of-15 from beyond the arc on the night. For the second straight outing, Furman struggled at the charity stripe converting just 8-of-17 free throws. Opacic connected on 9-of-13 field goal attempts for his career-high 21 points. Senior George Brozos added nine points, three rebounds and three steals in 18 minutes of action.
Wells led three Bulldogs in double figures with 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field. Dahn scored 14 points and McDowell added 12. The Citadel made good on 11-of-22 three-point attempts, but shot only 43.5% from the floor and missed their only two free throw attempts.
Furman committed just 12 turnovers while forcing 14 Bulldogs turnovers and collecting 10 steals. Each team recorded 26 rebounds. The Paladins outscored The Citadel 24-12 in the paint.
Furman returns to the road on Saturday when it travels to Wofford for a 3 p.m. contest against the Terriers. The game can be seen live on SportSouth, Charter Cable channel 61 in the Upstate. The Citadel visits cross-town rival College of Charleston at 7 p.m. on Monday.