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Furman Fourth Quarter Rally Falls Short In 78-74 Loss To North Greenville

Celena Taborn
Celena Taborn

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Karen Donehew poured in 29 points and Ayano Shelton added 22 to power North Greenville to a 78-74 upset victory over host Furman in women's basketball action Sunday afternoon at Timmons Arena.

The Crusaders used a Donehew 3-pointer with over seven minutes remaining in the game to build a 64-52 lead and then held off a Paladin rally down the stretch to secure the win, getting a Savannah Hughes free throw with nine seconds remaining for the final four-point advantage.

Furman (8-7) twice cut the lead to two points over the contest's final two minutes — first on a Le'Jzae Davidson steal and layup to pull to within 74-72 with 1:39 remaining, and later on a pair of Celena Taborn free throws with 58 seconds to go to make it 76-64.  North Greenville, however, had the final answer with a Natalie Averett rebound off a missed 3-pointer by Furman's Taylor Petty, which she followed with a free throw for a 77-74 lead with 18 seconds to go; and Hughes' free throw after a missed game tying 3-point attempt by Davidson.

The Paladins wasted a season high 29-point, 16-rebound effort by Taborn, who made 11-of-15 shots and 7-of-8 free throws in 31 minutes of action.  Petty finished with 18 points, and Davidson chipped in 11 for Furman, which paid dearly for 17 turnovers, getting outscored 20-12 off the miscues.

Furman outshot the Crusaders 44.3 percent to 42.6 percent and claimed a 46-34 rebounding advantage; however, North Greenville consistently hurt the Paladins from long range, canning 9-of-21 shots from beyond the arc (42.9%), including a 5-of-10 effort by Donehew, a junior guard/forward who played all 40 minutes.  Furman found the mark on just 3-of-18 treys after connecting on a season best 10-of-22 3-pointers in last Wednesday's 76-68 win over Presbyterian.

The Paladins were outscored 8-0 over the final 1:13 of the first quarter to trail 24-15 but rebounded to tie the game at 40-40 at the half, getting a Grace van Rij basket at the buzzer to knot it up.

Furman managed only seven points in the third period and saw NGU fashion an 8-2 run over the final three minutes to take a 55-47 lead heading into the fourth period.

The Paladins open Southern Conference play on Thursday when they play host to UNCG in a 7:00 p.m. contest in Timmons Arena.