March 5, 2008
Greenville, S.C. - The Furman men's basketball team will open play in its 55th Southern Conference Tournament Friday when the 10th-seeded Paladins face seventh-seed Elon in a 5:15 p.m. game at the North Charleston Coliseum.
The Phoenix (11-18) hold a 4-2 edge in the all-time series between the schools, including a pair of wins over the Paladins earlier this season. Elon topped Furman 66-61 after recovering from a 13-point halftime deficit at Alumni Gym on December 1. In the rematch at Timmons Arena on January 12, Tony Anderson's three-pointer at the buzzer was waved off as the Phoenix survived for a 60-58 victory.
Furman (7-22) is led by 6-foot-10 junior Alex Opacic who is averaging 10.7 points and 5.0 boards per game. He is joined in double figures by SoCon All-Freshman Team selection Justin Dehm at 10.6 points per game. George Brozos, Furman's lone senior, have scored in double figures in seven straight games, including a career-high 23 point performance at College of Charleston on Saturday.
Forward Ola Atoyebi leads the Phoenix at 12.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per game while guard Brett James has averaged 12.3 points and 5.3 boards per contest.
The winner of Friday's game faces second-seed Chattanooga in a 7 p.m. quarterfinal game on Saturday night.