ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Ge'Lawn Guyn scored 22 points to lead No. 2 seed ETSU past No. 3 seed Furman in the semifinals of the Southern Conference Men's Basketball Championship presented by General Shale at the U.S. Cellular Center on Sunday, 84-76.
"Obviously, at some point in time, your season is going to have to come to an end, and unfortunately, it was tonight," said Furman head coach Niko Medved. "You have to give a lot of credit to East Tennessee State, I thought they played their tails off on both ends of the floor and they have a lot of guys who made plays and we came up a little bit short tonight."
"There is nothing I can say that will make them feel better about tonight. I couldn't be prouder of these guys and to coach this group of kids every day. I have the best job in the world. We're disappointed because we felt like we had an opportunity to win the whole thing, but we came up a bit short, and that's sports, and that's life."
Devin Sibley scored a game-high 29 points in the losing effort, matching the career high he posted at ETSU on Feb. 14, 2015. Teammate Kris Acox had 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for the game's only double-double.
The Paladins (18-15) used a 9-0 run to pull within six points at 66-60 on a pair of Sibley free throws with just under 5 minutes remaining, but the Bucs' Desonta Bradford hit a runner in the lane and Peter Jurkin followed with a jumper to push the lead back into double figures and put ETSU back in the driver's seat.
ETSU pushed its lead back to as many as 13 with 3:20 left on Guyn's fourth 3-pointer of the night, and the senior added six more points on free throws in the final 71 seconds to ice the game. Furman would close to within seven points in the waning seconds of the contest, but by then, the outcome was decided.
Bradford finished with 15 points off the bench for the Bucs, while Isaac Banks (12) and T.J. Cromer (11) were also in double figures.