Greenville, S.C. – Senior Bobby Austin buried back-to-back three-pointers in the final two minutes to give Furman the lead, and junior Charlie Reddick drained all five of his three-point attempts to pace five players in double figures with 20 points as the Paladins clipped Georgia Southern, 81-74, in Southern Conference men’s basketball action on Thursday night at Timmons Arena.
Furman’s 64.3% (27-42) shooting performance from the field and 66.7% (12-18) effort from three-point range marked the best shooting night for the Paladins during the head coach Jeff Jackson era and best overall since the Paladins connected on 70.8% of their field goal attempts and 67.7% of their three-point tries in a 126-33 win over Virginia Intermont on December 29, 2004.
With a 3-for-3 performance from three-point range, Austin extended his school record run of consecutive three-point makes to 10, dating back to Furman’s January 14, victory over Wofford when the Cincinnati, Ohio, native delivered the game-winning trey in the final seconds.
After Georgia Southern erased an 18-point Furman lead and gained a 71-70 advantage on Marvin Baynham’s jumper with 2:59 to play, Austin delivered the late game magic for the second time in as many home games. He nailed a trey to give Furman the lead with 1:27 left, and following a Stephen Croone steal, the senior drained another trey on an assist from Reddick to up the margin to 76-71 with 39 seconds remaining.
Charlie Reddick converted a pair of free throws following a GSU miss and Colin Reddick rebound to increase the lead to 78-71, and Croone and Austin combined to hit 3-of-4 free throws in the final 15 seconds to give the Paladins the victory.
Furman (6-13, 3-5 SoCon) shot a school record 72% (18-25) from the field in the first half and built a 46-28 advantage, but Georgia Southern’s C.J. Reed buried a triple from just inside half court as the period expired to ignite the Eagles (9-13, 3-6 SoCon). Trailing by 11 at 68-57 with 7:30 left, GSU had five players contribute points during a 12-0 run that gave the Eagles a 69-68 lead on Tre Bussey’s free throws with 5:05 to play. The lead changed hands twice over the next 2:06 before Austin’s treys gave Furman the lead for good.
Charlie Reddick, 6-for-6 from the field, paced the Paladins with a game-high 20 points while Austin tallied 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Colin Reddick hit 5-of-8 shots from the floor to notch 12 points before fouling out in the final minutes. Croone and Bryant Irwin added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Paladins connected on 15-of-22 free throws on the record shooting night, but turned the ball over 18 times and allowed the Eagles to tally 12 steals and 26 points off turnovers. Georgia Southern managed a 25-24 rebounding edge and shot 53.1% from the floor, but the Eagles connected on only 17-of-28 free throw attempts.
Reed led Georgia Southern with 20 points while Eric Ferguson added 14 points.