Furman (10-10) at The Citadel (4-16)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 28th, 7:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McAlister Fieldhouse (6,000) -- Charleston, South Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: Furman 6-3, Citadel 3-6. Away Record: Furman 4-7, Citadel 0-9. Neutral Record: Furman 0-0, Citadel 1-1. Conference Record: Furman 4-5, Citadel 1-8. Series Record: Furman leads, 113-83.
GAME NOTES: The Furman Paladins hope to continue their winning ways on the road this evening, as they take on the Citadel in a Southern Conference matchup at McAlister Fieldhouse.
Furman won for the third time in four games Thursday, knocking off the College of Charleston on the road, 69-63. It was the Paladins' first win in Charleston since the 1952-53 season and snapped a nine-game losing streak in the series. Furman built a 14-point lead in the second half but had to hold on at the end after the Cougars rallied and the visitors missed a series of free throws in the final minutes. The Paladins wound up shooting 43.9 percent from the field and got team-highs of 15 points and nine rebounds from Brandon Sebirumbi. Bryant Irwin added 14 points for the victors as Furman moved to 4-5 in conference play.
The Citadel saw its struggles continue Thursday, dropping a 62-55 decision at home to Wofford. It was the Bulldogs' fifth consecutive loss and sixth in seven games overall. The balanced scoring for the Terriers proved too much for the hosts, putting four players in double figures, while reserve Bo Holston paced the Bulldogs with 14 points. Mike Groselle added 10 points and six rebounds in defeat as The Citadel fell to 1-8 in the SoCon standings.
This will be the 197th installment of this longtime rivalry dating back to 1920. Furman leads the series by a 113-83 count and has captured seven of the last 10 meetings, including a 77-45 decision earlier this season in Greenville.
The Paladins normally have a tough time producing at the offensive end, ranking second from the bottom in league play with 64.6 points per game. A 41.4 shooting percentage from the field stands third in the Southern Conference, but the Paladins are able to level the playing field somewhat with a strong defensive presence. Furman ranks second in the conference in scoring defense at 64.2 ppg and allow a decent 43.3 shooting percentage against. However, Furman's top scorer in Sebirumbi checks in at just 10.8 ppg while Charlie Reddick stands at 10.0 ppg as the Paladins only other double-digit scorer. Sebirumbi is also among the league leaders in field-goal percentage with a 51.9-percent shooting clip and leads the team in rebounding at 5.2 per contest. Richard Brown and Irwin chip in with 8.8 and 8.3-point averages, respectively. Furman is able to produce a decent edge on the glass overall, 34.5-31.3.
The Bulldogs also have their share of struggles on offense, and aren't much for defense either. Groselle is the outlier in this offense, leading the conference in scoring at 17.0 ppg, but the Bulldogs' have just two other players that average at least 8.5 ppg -- DeVontae Wright (8.9 ppg) and Ashton Moore (8.5 ppg). Overall, The Citadel averages 66.3 ppg on 44.2 percent shooting but the defense often lets them down. The Bulldogs allow 74.9 ppg on average -- second from the bottom in the SoCon -- while opponents sink a league-high 49.1 percent of their field goals. The Citadel trails in the rebounding department as well, grabbing 32.8 rpg compared with opponents' 34.3 per.
Furman has played pretty well on the road this season (4-7) and should be able to take advantage of the Bulldogs' lack of scoring depth and porous defense.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Furman 67, The Citadel 62
01/28 10:35:22 ET