Paladins Prevail At Appalachian State, 79-70

Devin Sibley
Devin Sibley

Boone, N.C. -- Freshman Matt Rafferty netted 19 points to pace four Paladins in double figures as Furman upended Appalachian State, 79-70, in non-conference men's basketball action on Tuesday night at the Holmes Convocation Center in Boone, N.C.

The victory improved the Paladins to 2-0 on the season and marked the third straight triumph over the Mountaineers for head coach Niko Medved's squad.  Appalachian State slipped to 1-1.

Leading 65-63 with under 2:30 remaining, Kris Acox found Daniel Fowler on the left wing for a three-pointer to put Furman ahead by five.  After Acox rebounded a missed trey by Appalachian State on the next possession, Devin Sibley converted on two free throws and answered a three-point play by the Mountaineers' Jacob Lawson with a three of his own as the shot clock was running down to put the Paladins in front 73-66 with 1:01 to play.

Chris Burgess connected on a pair of layups in the final minute for App State, but freshmen Rafferty and Andrew Brown combined to go 6-for-6 at the charity stripe to seal the victory for Furman.

Rafferty drained 9-of-10 free throw attempts on the night and 5-of-8 field goal tries to tally his team-high 19 points while adding seven rebounds.  Sibley hit on 4-of-5 three-point attempts to net 18 points and Kendrec Ferrara made good on 5-of-9 shots to finish with 12 points.  Fowler tallied 10 points to round out Furman's list of double figure scorers.

The Paladins shot 47.1% from the field, including 10-of-21 from three-point range.  Furman managed a 40-36 rebounding edge and committed just 12 turnovers on the night.

Sibley and Ferrara scored nine points apiece in the first half as Furman raced out to a 19-9 lead before carrying a 32-29 advantage into the intermission.  Appalachian State grabbed a 36-35 lead early in the second half before a 10-3 spurt gave the Paladins the lead for good.

Frank Eaves led the Mountaineers with 20 points, while Burgess added 17.  App State shot 42.3% from the field and made 8-of-19 threes.

The Paladins continue their five-game road swing on Thursday when they take on the Charlotte 49ers at Halton Arena in Charlotte, N.C. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.

Thursday's game will air over the Furman IMG Sports Network, headed up by flagship station WGOG 101.7/Walhalla and FoxSports 1440/Greenville. A video stream will be available for a subscription fee at Charlotte49ers.TV.

Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information