Greensboro, N.C. (Furman SID) — Junior Devin Sibley scored 24 points, including 22 in the second half, and Furman converted on all six of its free throw attempts in the final 1:35 to outlast UNCG, 73-67, in Southern Conference men’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at the Greensboro Coliseum.
The victory, Furman’s fourth consecutive win, lifted the Paladins (14-8, 7-2 SoCon) into first place in the SoCon standings at the midway point of the conference season. UNCG, who came into Saturday in first place, slipped to 16-7 overall and 7-3 in the league.
Furman led 60-59 with under six minutes to play when Sibley was fouled while shooting a three-pointer and converted on all three of his free throws. The Knoxville, Tenn., native stripped the ball from Francis Alonso and went coast-to-coast for a layup to extend the lead to 65-59 with 5:23 to play before Kris Acox scored on a pass from John Davis III on the fast break to up the margin to 67-59.
UNCG used a 6-0 run to pull within two points when Alonso connected on a jumper in the paint with 1:50 remaining. Davis III pushed the lead back to four points, but Jordy Kuiper scored in the paint for the Spartans and UNCG forced Furman into a shot clock violation with less than 47 seconds left.
Alonso got into the lane, but missed his potential game-tying shot and Acox cleared the rebound for Furman. UNCG fouled Daniel Fowler, who drained both of his foul shots with 22.4 seconds left, and Davis III converted on two more trips to the charity stripe with 11.2 to go following another Spartan miss to secure the victory.
The road win marked Furman’s sixth triumph on the opposition’s home court this season, which is the most by a Paladin club since winning nine road games during the 2010-11 season.
Sibley hit all eight of his second half shots and finished 9-of-11 from the field to score 24 points, while Acox netted 12 points and grabbed 10 boards for his sixth double-double of the season. Davis III added 13 points, six rebounds and three assists. Freshman Jordan Lyons connected on 3-of-8 three-point attempts to score 10 points.
Furman shot 47.3% and connected on 8-of-25 triples. The Paladins hit on 13-of-15 trips to the foul line and posted a 30-27 rebounding edge. UNCG committed 16 turnovers that led to 20 second chance points for the Paladins.
The Paladins built a seven-point lead in the first half before UNCG used a 20-8 run to take a 32-27 advantage. Furman finished the half on an 8-1 run, including five straight points from Andrew Brown, to lead 35-33 at intermission. UNCG tied the game at 44-44, but never led in the second half.
R.J. White led the Spartans with 25 points and seve rebounds. Diante Baldwin added 14 points.
Furman returns to action next Thursday night when it visits Macon, Ga., to face Mercer.