Charleston, S.C. (Furman SID) — The Citadel erased a 17-point Furman lead in the second half and downed the Paladins, 100-92, in overtime in Southern Conference men’s basketball on Saturday afternoon at McAlister Fieldhouse in Charleston, S.C.
Trailing 75-58 with 9:13 left in regulation, the Bulldogs went on a 30-13 run to force overtime and scored the first seven points of the extra period en route to snapping a four-game skid against the Paladins. Zane Najdawi powered the Bulldogs’ rally with 28 points and 10 rebounds, while Matt Frierson added 21 points.
Furman (16-8, 7-4 SoCon) shot almost 58% and hit on 7-of-16 three-point tries in the opening half to build a 52-44 lead at intermission. An 8-1 run early in the second period extended the lead to 15 points and the Paladins upped the advantage to 17 on Devin Sibley’s triple with 9:13 to go.
The Citadel (9-14, 4-7 SoCon) fashioned an 11-0 run to trim the Furman lead to 77-72 with under 5:30 to play, but the Paladins looked to be in control when Geoff Beans connected on a three to increase the margin to 80-72 with 4:19 remaining. The Bulldogs, however, made their next five shots to cut the Paladin lead to 88-86. After Sibley missed two free throws with under 30 seconds left, Frankie Johnson scored on a driving layup with 4.8 seconds to play to tie the game at 88-88 and force overtime.
Johnson opened the extra period with a bucket, Frierson drained three straight free throws and Johnson converted on two trips to the line to give The Citadel a 95-88 overtime lead before Sibley’s basket with 2:08 to go halted the run. Furman went 0-for-6 from three-point range in the period and the Bulldogs connected on 5-of-6 free throw attempts in the final minute to secure the win.
Najdawi went 9-of-12 from the field, including 4-for-5 behind the arc, to help The Citadel shoot 49.2% from the field and finish 14-of-32 from three-point range. Frierson hit four threes and finished 9-of-9 at the line, while Kaelon Harris added 18 points.
After shooting 57.6% in the first half, Furman made only four of its final 19 shots to shoot 45.8% from the floor. The Paladins hit on 11-of-33 three-point attempts and 15-of-20 trips to the charity stripe.
Sibley and John Davis III scored 18 points apiece for the Paladins, while Matt Rafferty added 14 points and eight rebounds. Daniel Fowler tallied 10 points and redshirt-freshman Clay Mounce grabbed a career-best eight rebounds to go with nine points.
Furman returns home to open a three-game homestand on Wednesday night when it welcomes UNCG to Timmons Arena for a 7 p.m. tip-off. The Paladins will entertain Wofford next Saturday at 4:30 p.m. before concluding the homestand versus Chattanooga on February 15.
Tickets are available for all three games at the Timmons Arena Box Office or online at FurmanPaladins.com. Wednesday’s game will be streamed live on ESPN3 and can by heard on the Furman IMG Sports Network on FoxSports 1440AM, via the TuneIn Radio app, and through StretchAudio at FurmanPaladins.com.