Greensboro, N.C. (Furman SID) – Furman’s defense held UNC Greensboro to just 24 second half points and JP Pegues scored a team-high 17 to lead Furman to 69-57 victory over the Spartans on Sunday afternoon at the Greensboro Coliseum.
The victory, Furman’s fifth straight road triumph, moved the Paladins (17-6, 8-2 SoCon) into a tie for first place in the Southern Conference standings with the Spartans (14-9, 8-2 SoCon) and Samford Bulldogs (14-9, 8-2 SoCon). Furman trailed for just 22 seconds on its way to earning a split of the regular season series with UNCG as the Paladins avenged an 88-80 overtime loss to the Spartans in Greenville, S.C. earlier this month.
UNCG trimmed the Paladins’ lead to 56-50 on Mohammed Abdulsalam’s layup with 6:32 to play before Furman’s defense put the clamps on the Spartans. The Paladins held UNCG without a basket for the next 5:34 to put the game away. Jalen Slawson completed a three-point play with 5:25 left to stretch the advantage to 59-50 and Mike Bothwell followed with a step back jumper two possessions later to up the margin to 11 points with under 2:30 to go.
The Paladins continued to get stops on the defensive end and made 5-of-6 free throw attempts before UNCG ended its field goal drought with under a minute left. Slawson’s finish from Garrett Hien on the break extended the lead to 68-54 to help put a bow on the Paladins’ second straight win on UNCG’s home floor.
Furman shot 48.9% from the field and limited the Spartans to 2-of-12 shooting behind the arc. UNCG shot just 43.4% from the field, including just 36% in the second half. The Paladins held the Spartans without a transition basket and a 9-of-14 effort at the foul line after UNCG shot 41 free throws in the first meeting on January 14.
Pegues converted on 7-of-11 free throw attempts and to finish with 17 points and four assists. Slawson tallied 15 points and Mike Bothwell and Marcus Foster added 10 points apiece.
Abdulsalam, the only Spartan in double figures, connected on 9-of-10 shots to lead UNCG with 23 points and eight rebounds. 
The Paladins jumped out to a 16-5 lead in the first half. UNCG rallied to take the advantage, but Furman ended the period on a 6-1 spurt to lead 37-33 at intermission. After starting the second half on a 9-2 run to stretch the lead back to double figures, Furman weathered a UNCG run midway through the half before the defense sealed the victory.
Furman returns to Timmons Arena to host Chattanooga on Wednesday, February 1, at 7 p.m.