Charlotte, N.C. — Freshman Curran Scott tallied 21 points to lead five 49ers in double figures and Charlotte converted on 20-of-24 second half free throw attempts to edge Furman, 77-68, on Thursday night at Halton Arena.
Tied at 48-48 with under 8:30 remaining, Charlotte reeled off nine consecutive points, including five from Andrian White, to grab a 57-48 lead that it would not relinquish. Driving baskets by Stephen Croone twice trimmed the Furman deficit to four points in the final four minutes, but Scott answered with a layup and four free throws down the stretch to hold off the Paladins.
Scott made 11-of-11 free throw attempts to spur the 49ers to a 25-for-30 effort at the charity stripe. White posted a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Joseph Uchebo scored 12 points on 4-for-4 shooting from the field. Benas Griciunas and Bernard Sullivan rounded out the 49ers’ double figure scorers with 10 points apiece.
Furman (2-1) connected on six first-half three-point tries to open up a 34-29 margin at the break, but the Paladins made good on only three of their first 14 field goal attempts in the second half as Charlotte used a 7-0 run to knot the game at 36-36 with 14:52 left. The lead changed hands several times before four straight free throws from White and Uchebo opened the decisive run.
Croone, who had missed Furman’s first two contests while recovering from surgery on a torn thumb ligament, netted 15 of his team-high 17 points in the second half. The senior hit 11-of-13 free throws and added four assists. Freshman Matt Rafferty posted his second double-double in three outings with 10 points and 11 boards, while Geoff Beans and Devin Sibley chipped in with 10 points apiece.
Charlotte (1-2) shot 41.4% from the field and forced Furman into 21 turnovers, including 12 in the second half. Furman shot 39.3%, but made just 9-of-29 three-point attempts.
The Paladins will look to bounce back on Saturday when they travel to Storrs, Conn., to face No. 19 UConn at 12 p.m. at Gampel Pavilion. The game will be streamed live on ESPN3 and will air over the Furman IMG Sports Network, headed up by flagship station WGOG 101.7/Walhalla and FoxSports 1440/Greenville.