Greenville, S.C. (Furman SID) – UNC Greensboro erased a 13-point deficit over the final eight minutes of regulation and outscored Furman 11-3 in overtime to claim an 88-80 victory over the Paladins on Saturday afternoon at Timmons Arena.
With the win, UNCG improved to 11-8 overall and 5-1 in Southern Conference play. The Paladins, who fell for just the eighth time in their last 59 league games at Timmons Arena, slipped to 13-6 overall and 4-2 in the SoCon.
After trailing by two points at intermission, Furman grabbed the lead early in the second half and used a 17-6 run midway through the period to build a 69-56 advantage. Leading 52-50, Furman’s Jalen Slawson converted at the rim and hit a three before Mike Bothwell scored in the lane to extend the run to 7-0. Slawson followed three free throws from the Spartans by scoring six straight points. The Paladin defense held UNCG without a field goal for over seven minutes and JP Pegues scored on an uncontested layup with 8:02 to play to stake Furman to a 13-point cushion.
The Spartans converted on 10-of-11 free throws over the final 5:46 of the half and Bas Leyte went 4-for-4 at the stripe, including a pair with 38 seconds remaining, to even the game at 75-75. Jalen Slawson’s shot from the left box missed with under 20 seconds remaining, but freshman Ben VanderWal scored on a putback to put the Paladins in front 77-75 with 13 seconds to go. UNCG’s Keyshaun Langley drew a foul while advancing the ball up the court and hit both of his free throws to send the game to overtime after Mike Bothwell could not convert on a fadeway jumper in the final seconds.
Slawson hit 1-of-2 free throw attempts to give Furman a 78-77 lead in overtime before Langley drained a triple from the right wing to key a 7-0 Spartan run. The Paladins went scoreless for over three-and-a-half minutes and UNCG scored the final four points to seal the verdict.
UNCG shot 50% (7-14) from three-point range and made good on 33-of-41 trips to the foul line. The Spartans managed a 36-33 rebounding edge and outscored Furman 9-0 on transition points.
Langley led five Spartans in double figures with 24 points. Keondre Kennedy netted 17, Mikeal Brown-Jones scored 15, Leyte contributed 14, and Mohammed Abdulsalam tallied 11 for the Spartans.
Bothwell and Slawson totaled 22 points apiece to pace Furman. Slawson added 12 rebounds to notch his fifth double-double of the season. Marcus Foster finished with 15 points, while Pegues posted 13.
The Paladins, who were whistled for a season-high 29 fouls, shot 45% from the field and connected on 17-of-20 trips the charity stripe. In overtime, Furman went 0-for-5 from the floor and committed three turnovers.
Furman visits Chattanooga on Wednesday at 7 p.m. before traveling to Spartanburg, S.C., to face Wofford on Sunday at 4 p.m.