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Men's Basketball Runs Winning Streak To 10 Games; Paladins Top Catamounts, 74-62

Geoff Beans
Geoff Beans

Cullowhee, N.C. -- Devin Sibley scored 22 points and Kris Acox added 18 points and 14 rebounds as Furman notched its 10th consecutive victory and fifth straight road win with a 74-62 triumph over Western Carolina at the Ramsey Center on Wednesday evening.

With the win, the first-place Paladins improved to 20-8 overall and 13-2 in Southern Conference play. Furman recorded its first 20-win season since 2010-11 and equaled its longest road winning streak (5) since claiming 10 straight wins away from home from 1929-30 to 1930-31. The Paladins also established a new school record with their 10th true road win of the season, and head coach Niko Medved's club is just one win short of tying the record for total road wins in a season at 11. Western Carolina fell to 7-20 overall and 2-12 in the SoCon.

Trailing 31-30, Furman grabbed the lead for good with 1:59 to go in the first half on Jonathan Jean's layup. Moments later, Acox stole the ball at the top of the key and went coast-to-coast for the slam. After Western Carolina  missed two free throws with 3.5 seconds left in the half, Jean took a pass, raced down the floor and drained a three as time expired to give the Paladins a 37-31 halftime lead.

Andrew Brown opened the second half with a trey as Furman pushed its run to 10-0 and its lead to 40-31. The Paladins built a 59-45 advantage with 9:51 to go on back-to-back baskets by Acox. The Catamounts used a 9-2 run to trim the Furman lead to seven points at 61-54 on Onno Steger's free throws with 6:26 to play, but Furman extended the lead back to double figures on Sibley's basket with 4:14 left and never let the lead slip below 10 points the rest of the way.

Sibley hot 7-of-19 shots from the floor and went 5-of-6 at the foul line to lead the Paladins. Acox connected on 7-of-9 field goals and added four steals and four assists to go with his eighth double-double of the campaign. Geoff Beans contributed nine points, while John Davis III dished out five assists.

The Paladins shot 49% from the field and made good on 8-of-21 three-point attempts. Furman made 18-of-31 free throw tries, posted a 35-34 edge on the glass and outscored the Catamounts 28-20 in the paint.

Devin Peterson led Western Carolina with 22 points and Marc Gosselin added 16 points and nine rebounds. The Catamounts shot 41%, but made just 11-of-20 free throw attempts.

Furman returns home on Saturday when it entertains the UNCG Spartans in a key SoCon showdown at 4 p.m. at Timmons Arena. Tickets for Saturday's game are available at the Timmons Arena Box Office or online at FurmanPaladins.com.

The game will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. The audio broadcast will be available locally in Greenville on FoxSports 1440AM and worldwide by using the TuneIn Radio app. Links for the video stream, audio stream and live statistics can be found at FurmanPaladins.com.




Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information