Greenville, S.C. (Furman SID) — Robert Allen drained a three-pointer with 5.4 seconds left to cap a 14-2 Samford run and lift the Bulldogs to a 75-73 victory over Furman in Southern Conference men’s basketball Saturday afternoon at Timmons Arena.
The loss snapped the Paladins’ 13-game home winning streak and dropped Furman to 16-5 overall and 5-4 in league play. Samford improved to 13-9 overall and 3-6 in the SoCon.
With 21 seconds to go, Matt Rafferty drained two free throws following an intentional foul to give the Paladins a 73-70 lead. Jordan Lyons was fouled on the Paladins’ inbounds, but the junior missed the front end of the one-and-one opportunity. Deandre Thomas scored on a layup to trim the Furman lead to 73-72 and Samford called timeout with 14.2 remaining.
Furman inbounded the ball to Lyons, but he stepped on the end line, giving the ball back to the Bulldogs with 12 seconds to go. Josh Sharkey, who notched a double-double with 21 points and 12 assists for the game, penetrated into the paint and dished out to Allen, who drained his triple from just right of the top of the key with under six seconds to go to put the Bulldogs in front. Lyons raced the ball up the court, but lost the handle near the three-point line as time expired.
Sharkey hit 7-of-19 shots from the floor and connected on 6-of-8 free throw attempts. He netted 17 of his 21 points in the first half to stake Samford to a 39-32 lead at intermission. Furman erased the deficit in the second half with a 16-4 spurt that gave the Paladins a 71-61 advantage on Matt Rafferty’s second straight basket with 4:21 to play. Samford held Furman without a field goal the rest of the way and forced three Paladin turnovers to steal the win.
Rafferty led Furman with 21 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and five steals, while Noah Gurley totaled 15 points and seven boards. Clay Mounce added 13 points to go with seven rebounds and Alex Hunter reached double figures with 11 points.
The Paladins shot 42.9% from the field and hit on 11-of-14 trips to the foul line.
Allen scored 14 points and Brandon Austin and Myron Gordon registered 12 apiece to join Sharkey in double digits. The Bulldogs shot 44.8% from the floor and made good on 10-of-25 three-point tries.
Furman returns to action Thursday with a 7 p.m. SoCon contest at The Citadel.