By Hayden Cox, Columnist
The Furman men’s basketball team’s record-setting season came to a close March 29 as they fell to Saint Peter’s University in the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) in the Yanitelli Center in Jersey City, New Jersey.
The Paladins play was very similar to their SoCon tournament upset against Samford, in which their shots just didn’t seem to fall. Saint Peter’s out-shot the Paladins by nearly 20 percent from the field and 15 percent from three. Saint Peter’s University dominated on the boards, out-rebounding the usually efficient Paladin interior 28-24.
Furman started out slow, seeing Saint Peter’s score 12 unanswered points to start off the game and leaving the Paladins down by as much as 26 points in the first half. Junior guard and Southern Conference Player of the Year Devin Sibley led a charge back, however, helping the Paladins to an 11-3 run to end the first half, still down 37-19.
A big half from junior guard Daniel Fowler, with some help from Sibley and senior forward, Kris Acox helped keep the Paladins in the game in the second half. It was not enough, as the Paladins would eventually fall 77-51 to Saint Peter’s.
Saint Peter’s University went on to win the tournament 62-61 over Texas A&M Corpus Christi two days later on a last second free throw.
The Paladin loss came at the end of one of the most successful seasons the Paladin faithful have seen in decades, with the Paladins finishing with a 23-11 record and tying them for first in the Southern Conference regular season. Their 23 wins tied a school record for most wins in a season, in addition to tying the school record in conference wins in a season, the most true road wins in school history at 10 wins and the most consecutive home conference wins at 16.
With former assistant coach Bob Richey stepping into the driver’s seat for the upcoming season after Coach Medved’s resignation, and only two seniors, Kris Acox and guard T.K. Hayes, graduating, the Paladins have much to look forward to in the upcoming season.