The Citadel men's basketball team jumped out to an early lead over a strong Furman team Thursday night, but the Southern Conference-favorite Paladins bounced back to claim a 107-67 victory over the young Bulldogs inside Timmons Arena.
The Bulldogs (5-9, 0-2 SoCon) led by as many as eight, 14-6 with 13:58 to play in the first half before Furman (11-4, 2-0 SoCon) slowly chipped away at the lead and then exploded to take a 23-point, 56-33 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Bulldogs failed to convert a field goal for 6:28, including the final 6:17 of the first half before Alex Reed hit a layup 11 seconds into the second half.
Furman was extremely efficient from the field, shooting 54.9% (39-of-71) for the game, including 55.9% (19-of-34) for the second half while The Citadel managed to shoot 36.5% (23-of-63) from the field for the game. The Bulldogs shot a respectable 42.3% (11-of-26) from the field for the first half, but 13 first-half turnovers plagued the Bulldogs' efforts. The Citadel ended the game with 18 turnovers compared to 17 by Furman.
Junior Quayson Williams led the 'Dogs in scoring with 15 points off 5-of-8 (62.5%) shooting, including 5-of-7 (71.4%) from three-point range. Williams moved up two spots in The Citadel basketball record book for three-pointers made in a career as he now has 136 made treys.
Sophomore Kaelon Harris was second on the team with 10 points and he led the team with seven rebounds while freshman Hayden Brown was second on the team with six boards. Four of Harris' boards came off the offensive glass and he finished with a team-high four assists.
Junior Matt Frierson kept his streak alive as he converted a pair of three-pointers in the second half. He has now made at least one three-pointer in 20 straight games.
Furman was led by a pair of double-double performances as well as two players with at least 20 points scored. Devin Sibley paced the field with 26 points and 10 boards. He was extremely efficient from the field, converting 10 of his 16 attempts (62.5%), including going 4-of-6 (66.7%) from beyond the three-point arc.
Matt Rafferty was close to recording a triple-double as he scored 10 points, corralled in 11 boards and had seven assists. Jordan Lyons came off the bench to score 20 points for the Paladins, going 5-of-10 from three-point range and 5-of-5 from the charity stripe
FAST BREAK FACTS
The Bulldogs utilized their seventh different starting lineup of the season Thursday night.
Junior Quayson Williams jumped from 13th to 11th in program history as he converted five three-pointers Thursday night. He now has 136 career made treys. The five made three-pointers is two shy of his career high and one shy of his season high.
When Matt Frierson hit a three-pointer with 8:22 to go in the second half, he extended his streak to 20 straight games with at least one three-pointer converted. He now has 149 career made three-pointers, 10th-most in program history.
The Citadel will next travel to Wofford for a 7 p.m. game against the Terriers on Saturday, Jan. 6. Following the game in Spartanburg, the Bulldogs will return home for a pair of SoCon games against Samford and Chattanooga on Thursday, Jan. 11 and Saturday, Jan. 13.