Greenville, S.C. -- Freshman Matt Rafferty posted his seventh double-double of the season with 21 points and 10 rebounds to power Furman to a 95-75 victory over The Citadel in Southern Conference men's basketball action on Thursday night at Timmons Arena.
The win marked the Paladins' ninth consecutive home victory as Furman improved to 16-11 overall and 10-4 in the SoCon. The Citadel dropped to 10-16 overall and 3-10 in league play.
The Paladins finished the first half on an 11-0 run, including three consecutive three-pointers to cap the period, as they carried a 42-26 lead into the break. In the second half, Furman shot 54.5% from the field and made good on 13-of-15 free throw attempts en route to victory.
Stephen Croone and John Davis III opened the second half with treys to run Furman's three-point streak to five straight and extend the Paladins run to 17-0. Furman, on the strength of nine second half points from Rafferty and eight from Kris Acox opened up a 28-point lead before settling for the 20-point win.
The Paladins limited The Citadel to 34.7% shooting from the floor and fashioned a 51-37 rebounding margin to avenge their January loss to the Bulldogs in Charleston, S.C. Furman, 51.6% from the floor, totaled 19 assists on 32 baskets and outscored The Citadel 46-26 in the paint.
Rafferty connected on 6-of-9 field goals and all seven of his free throw attempts to score his career-high 21 points, while Croone added 16 points to go with eight rebounds as he moved by former Paladins Bruce Evans and Dick Wright to claim sixth place on Furman's career scoring list with 1,783 points. Acox rounded out the double figure scorers for Furman with 12 points and seven boards.
Connor Schroeder led The Citadel with 17 points and P.J. Boutte added 15 points. Warren Sledge and Derrick Henry finished with 11 points apiece for the Bulldogs.
Furman wraps up its regular season home schedule and celebrates Legends Weekend and Senior Day when it hosts the Mercer Bears at 4 p.m. on Saturday on ESPN3. Saturday's game 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 be posted at FurmanPaladins.com.
Tickets are still available for Saturday's game. Visit the Timmons Arena Box Office or purchase your tickets online at FurmanPaladins.com.
NOTES: The season finale will be Selvy Selfie Saturday at Timmons Arena. Fans are invited to take selfies with Furman's Frank Selvy stand-ups in the lobby and tweet their pictures to @FurmanPaladins. Furman Basketball will award a prize to the best selfie. Saturday is also Pink Day as the women host Wofford prior to the men's game. SGA will be giving away rally towels for the men's game and there will also be free pizza for the students.
Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information