Furman (2-1) at College of Charleston (1-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 23, 6 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: TD Arena (5,100) -- Charleston, South Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: Furman 2-1, Charleston 1-2. Away Record: Furman 0-0, Charleston 0-1. Neutral Record: Furman 0-0, Charleston 0-0. Conference Record: Furman 0-0, Charleston 0-0. Series Record: Furman leads, 41-40.
GAME NOTES: Former Southern Conference members collide this evening when the Furman Paladins battle the Cougars from the College of Charleston. The Cougars left the Southern Conference for the Colonial Athletic Association over the summer.
Furman has had a week to rest for this meeting. The Paladins haven't played since suffering a 70-69 loss to 2013 NCAA Sweet 16 participant Florida Gulf Coast on Nov. 15. Furman blew a 9-point lead with just over six minutes remaining, and Stephen Croone's last-second 3-point shot bounced off the rim, securing the win for FGCU.
The Paladins are giving up just 61 points a game, while allowing opponents to shoot just under 38 percent from the field, including 25 percent from 3-point range. Croone leads the Paladins with 21.3 points per game, with sophomore guard Larry Wideman sitting second at 13.0 ppg. Forward Keith Belfield, one of four sophomores in the starting lineup, averages 9.7 ppg. That's just behind freshman Williams Gates Jr., who comes off the bench at 11.3 ppg. Furman has only one senior on the team in guard Charlie Reddick, and he's out of action until January due to foot surgery. Additionally, forward Adonis Rwabigwi sat out Furman's home games against Gardner-Webb and Florida Gulf Coast last week because of an elbow injury, but the 6-foot-8 freshman is expected back soon.
The Cougars, whose only win came on Nov. 12 against Charlotte by a point, have dropped their last two contests. On Monday, Charleston was beaten by the Miami Hurricanes, 70-54. Willis Hall and Joe Chealey scored 12 points each for Charleston. Hall and Adjehi Baru finished with seven boards apiece. The Cougars combined to convert only 11-of-22 attempts at the charity stripe.
That's been one of the problems thus far for the Cougars. They're only making 55 percent of their foul shots. Included in that is redshirt freshman guard Canyon Barry. The youngest son of NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry, Canyon shoots free throws underhanded like his father. The younger Barry, though, has hit only 9-of-16 from the charity stripe thus far on the season, but he leads the team in scoring at 15.5 points a game. Chealey (12.0 ppg) and Hall (10.8 ppg) are also part the starting lineup for a team that is averaging a paltry 60.8 ppg. Hall has connected on 7-of-13 3-point tries, but the overall percentage of 31.0 from beyond the arc is being brought down by starting junior guard Anthony Stitt, who is just 3-of-21 from long distance.
Furman hasn't fared well against Charleston as evidenced by its 4-29 record since the 1998-99 season. In fact, the Paladins' last victory came Jan. 26, 2012 at TD Arena. That was Furman's first win on Charleston's home court since the 1952-53 season. Expect the Cougars to continue their home domination of the Paladins.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: College of Charleston 68, Furman 63
11/23 10:33:31 ET