Sibley Leads Furman to Win at Mercer, 85-73

Macon, Ga. (Furman SID) — Senior Devin Sibley poured in a game-high 21 points and sophomore Jordan Lyons scored all 12 of his points in the second half to lead Furman to an 85-73 victory over Mercer in Southern Conference men’s basketball action on Thursday evening at Hawkins Arena.

The win, Furman’s fifth straight over the Bears, improved the Paladins to 16-7 overall and 7-3 in SoCon play. Mercer dipped to 10-13 overall and 3-7 in the league.

The Paladins drilled 15-of-30 three-point attempts, shot 50.9% from the floor and converted on 14-of-18 trips to the foul line to secure their second straight win over the Bears in Macon and sweep the regular season series versus Mercer for the second year in a row.

Furman took control of the game in the first half as Geoff Beans capped an 11-2 run with back-to-back threes to give the Paladins a 25-18 advantage just eight minutes into the contest. The lead reached as many as nine points before the Paladins carried a 41-35 margin into the locker room after Beans netted his third triple of the half with 50 seconds to go in the period.

Mercer trimmed the deficit to 43-41 in the opening minutes of the second half, and the Paladins advantage hovered in single digits until the midway point of the second period. Furman’s defense held Mercer without a field goal from the 11:49 mark to just six minutes left in the game. An 8-0 run during the Bears’ drought, highlighted by treys from Lyons and Sibley, upped the Paladin lead to 70-54 when Sibley connected from three with 7:11 to play.

The Paladins committed just eight turnovers and totaled 18 assists on 28 made baskets in the victory. Sibley finished 7-of-13 from the field and connected on 4-of-6 three-point attempts to surpass 1,700 career points and move into a tie for ninth on Furman’s career scoring ledger with Mel Daniel. He also drained his 200th career three-pointer in the road win.

John Davis III contributed 14 points and a season-high seven assists for the Paladins, while Lyons hit 3-of-8 threes to finish with 12 points. Andrew Brown and Matt Rafferty finished with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Jordan Strawberry led Mercer with 18 points, while Ross Cummings drained four triples to score 15 points. The Bears, who shot 45.5%, posted a 40-20 edge in points in the paint but made good on just 5-of-26 three-point tries.

The Paladins will go for a regular season sweep of The Citadel on Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will be streamed live on ESPN3 and can by heard on FoxSports 1440AM, via the TuneIn Radio app, and through StretchAudio at FurmanPaladins.com.