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The Citadel Survives Last Minute Rally To Down Furman, 89-86

Matt Rafferty
Matt Rafferty

Charleston, S.C. -- Furman cut a 10-point lead down to one in the final 36 seconds, but The Citadel's P.J Boutte  hit a pair of free throws with 3.4 seconds left to edge the Paladins, 89-86, in Southern Conference men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at McAlister Fieldhouse.

The loss dropped the Paladins to 9-10 overall and 3-3 in the SoCon, while the Bulldogs improved to 8-10 overall and 1-4 in league play.

Trailing 87-77 following a Citadel free throw with 36 seconds left, Furman's Stephen Croone rushed down the floor to score a layup before the Paladins forced a turnover and Daniel Fowler converted a three-point play in the lane to cut the lead to 87-82 with 22 seconds left. After The Citadel failed to get the ball in bounds once again, Devin Sibley scored to trim the margin to three.

Following a Citadel timeout, Fowler intercepted a Bulldog pass and Sibley converted on two free throws with 4.9 seconds remaining to pull Furman within 87-86. Furman fouled on the inbounds and Boutte made both of his free throws with 3.4 seconds to go to up the lead to 89-86. Croone took a pass from John Davis III on the inbounds, crossed half court and launched a three that hit the front rim before falling short.

Derrick Henry tallied 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Brian White came off of the bench to record 16 points and six boards for The Citadel. Boutte hit 6-of-8 shots and scored 14 points for The Citadel, who shot 48.4% from the field, made 8-of-21 three-point tries and converted on 19-of-32 trips to the foul line.

The Bulldogs forced 11 first half turnovers and tallied 16 points off of Furman's miscues to carry a 41-37 lead into halftime.  The Citadel scored the first five points of the second half to extend the margin to nine points and led by as many as 12 before with 2:57 left.

Croone paced the Paladins with 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting and Sibley connected on 6-of-9 shots to total 16 points. Freshman Matt Rafferty notched his fifth double-double of the year with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Furman shot 46% from the field, but the Paladins made only 6-of-22 three-point tries and 22-of-34 free throw attempts.

Furman returns home a week from Saturday, January 23, to host the Wofford Terriers at 4 p.m. Saturday's game will be streamed live on ESPN3 and can be heard on the Furman IMG Radio Network at WGOG 101.7FM and FoxSports 1440AM, as well as, on your mobile device through the TuneIn Radio app. Links for the video stream, radio broadcast and live statistics are posted at FurmanPaladins.com.

NOTES: The Coach Niko Medved Show will return on Monday night from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. at Shortfield's Restaurant in Travelers Rest, S.C. The show will be hosted by Furman play-by-play voice Dan Scott and will air on WGOG 101.7FM and FoxSports 1440AM. It will also be available by searching "Furman Paladins" on your TuneIn Radio app.


Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information