Charleston, S.C. – Sophomore Kendrec Ferrara scored a career-high 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to help Furman hold off The Citadel, 76-71, in Southern Conference men's basketball action on Saturday night at McAlister Fieldhouse in Charleston, S.C.
Ferrara, who has scored 20 or more points in four of his last five games, connected on 12-of-17 field goal attempts to help Furman build an 18-point lead and grabbed several key rebounds down the stretch as the Paladins topped The Citadel for the sixth time in the last eight meetings.
Furman shot 60% from the floor, including 7-of-11 beyond the arc, to lead 39-25 at intermission and extended its margin to 18 at 56-38 when Ferrara buried his only three-point attempt of the night with 12:55 to play. The Citadel answered by holding Furman to just one field goal over a seven-minute stretch and capped an 18-4 run with a Matt Van Scyoc trey that cut the Paladins' lead to 62-58 with 4:52 remaining.
The Bulldogs trimmed the lead to just three points on four occasions in the final three minutes with Stephen Croone's two free throws with 12.2 seconds left restoring the Paladins' five-point cushion at 74-69. Van Scyoc scored on The Citadel's next possession, but William Gates Jr. grabbed the inbounds pass and hit a pair of free throws with 0.6 seconds remaining to cap the Furman victory.
Furman shot 47.4% from the field and made 10-of-20 three-point attempts while committing just 10 turnovers. Senior Charlie Reddick drained 4-of-9 three-point attempts to join Ferrara in double figures with a season-high 16 points and Croone reached double digits for the 18th time in 19 games this season with 12 points. The sophomore point guard added five assists and an emphatic one-handed jam from the baseline in the second half that helped the Paladins hold off The Citadel's late charge.
The Paladins' first SoCon victory improved head coach Niko Medved's squad to 7-12 overall and 1-5 in league play. The Citadel slipped to 4-16 overall and 0-5 in the league.
Larry Wideman scored all nine of his points in the opening half on 3-for-4 shooting from long range, and Reddick connected on a 27-foot trey as the halftime buzzer sounded to help Furman to a 14-point first half lead on 15-of-25 shooting.
Ashton Moore paced The Citadel with 25 points. Van Scyoc and Brian White added 17 and 10 points, respectively. The Bulldogs managed a 37-33 edge on the glass, but Furman held the home team to 45% shooting from the field.
Furman returns home to host Wofford in a 2 p.m. contest next Saturday on YP Court at Timmons Arena.
The Wofford game can be heard live on WGOG FM 96.3, Fox Sports 1440 AM and through StretchAudio at www.FurmanPaladins.com. Fans can access live updates on Twitter by following @FurmanHoops.