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Croone’s Buzzer Beater Lifts Furman Over Wofford, 63-62

Furman fans swarm Stephen Croone after his game-winning tip in versus Wofford.
Furman fans swarm Stephen Croone after his game-winning tip in versus Wofford.
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Highlights

Niko Medved postgame // Stephen Croone postgame

Greenville, S.C. -- Senior Stephen Croone tipped in Devin Sibley's missed layup as time expired to lift the Furman Paladins to a 63-62 victory over Wofford in Southern Conference men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Timmons Arena.

The last second victory marked Furman's fifth straight home win and improved the Paladins to 10-10 overall and 4-3 in league play. Wofford dropped to 8-12 overall and 4-3 in the SoCon.

With 6.9 seconds to play, Croone inbounded the ball to Sibley who dribbled across the timeline and drove down the right side of the lane to the basket.  His layup came up short, but Croone followed by tipping a shot off of the glass and in as the buzzer sounded to help the Paladins snap their six-game skid versus the Terriers and improve to 8-1 at home this season.

Wofford led by eight points at 60-52 when Fletcher Magee drained a three with 4:01 remaining. Croone scored on the break to trim the margin to six points and Sibley slashed to the basket for two points two possessions later to pull Furman within four at 60-56 with 1:47 to play.

Furman's defense got a stop on the other end and Croone cut the Wofford lead to one at 60-59 by burying a trey with 1:03 remaining. The Terriers ran down the shot clock on their next possession before Sibley rejected Magee's shot in the paint.  Croone drew a foul and converted both free throws on the other end with 25 seconds left to give the Paladins their first lead since the 16:11 mark.

CJ Neumann scored on a pass from Justin Gordon with 6.9 seconds left to give Wofford the brief lead prior to Croone's buzzer beating heroics.

Croone finished with a team-high 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field and a 6-for-6 performance at the foul line. He was joined in double figures by Sibley and Kris Acox who netted 11 points apiece.

The Paladins, who connected on 63.2% of their second half field goal attempts, shot 44.9% from the floor and committed just 11 turnovers.  Furman dominated in the paint, outscoring the Terriers 36-18, and the Paladins' bench outscored Wofford's reserves 21-11.

Head coach Niko Medved's Paladins held Wofford to 42% shooting, but the Terriers kept the lead for most of the second half by connecting on 8-of-19 threes and making good on 12-of-15 trips to the charity stripe for the game.

Spencer Collins led Wofford with 19 points on 6-of-15 shooting, while Eric Garcia added 12 points and five assists.

The Paladins raced out to a 19-6 first half lead before Wofford finished the period on a 24-8 run to lead 30-27 at intermission.  The lead changed hands five times in the second half and the game was tied five times over the final 20 minutes.

Furman returns to action on Monday night at 7 p.m. when it travels to Lexington, Va., to take on VMI. The game will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. It can also 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 will be posted at FurmanPaladins.com.

NOTES: The Coach Niko Medved Show, which usually airs on Monday night, will air on Tuesday, January 26, from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. at Shortfield's Restaurant in Travelers Rest, S.C., because of Furman's game on Monday at VMI.

Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information