Greenville, S.C. – Stephen Clark scored 21 points and Elijah Morgan drained four free throw attempts in the final seconds to help The Citadel edge Furman, 69-65, in Southern Conference men’s basketball action Wednesday evening at McAlister Fieldhouse.
The loss snapped Furman’s eight-game winning streak and six-game road winning streak while also ending a string of nine consecutive victories over the Bulldogs. Furman dropped to 21-7 overall and 12-3 in the league. The Bulldogs improved to 10-18 overall and 5-10 in SoCon play.
Furman led 52-47 with under 11 minutes to play when The Citadel went on a 7-0 run and grabbed its first lead of the second half on Clark’s three-pointer with 9:19 remaining. The Paladins knotted the game on a pair of Jalen Slawson free throws, but Austin Ash found Clark on a pick-and-roll for a dunk and Morgan stole the ball at the top of the key and went the distance for a layup to give the Bulldogs a 58-54 advantage with 8:35 left.
Despite missing its next four field goal attempts, Furman’s defense kept the Paladins alive and Garrett Hien evened the game at 61-61 on a layup with 3:20 on the clock. After Brady Spence scored in the paint for The Citadel, Clark blocked Slawson’s layup attempt, JP Pegues missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity, and the Paladins committed a turnover. Clark scored with 44 seconds left to extend the margin to 65-61.
Furman rebounded two misses on its next possession and Slawson drained a three to trim the deficit to one point with 21.7 seconds to go, but Morgan made good on all four of his trips to the foul line in the final 18 seconds to seal the verdict.
The Citadel shot 46.6% from the field, went 10-for-12 at the foul line, and outscored Furman 40-28 in the paint. Clark went 10-of-19 from the floor to tally 21 points to go with seven rebounds, four steals and four blocked shots. Ash netted 12 points, Morgan scored 11 and Spence posted a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Slawson, 3-of-5 behind the arc and 7-for-8 at the line, led Furman with 22 points. Hien compiled 11 points and seven boards while Pegues contributed 10 points and five assists. The Paladins shot just 43.6%, including 9-for-28 from three-point range.
Furman returns to Timmons Arena on Sunday, February 19, for a showdown versus ETSU. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m.