AP NEWS

Furman hands Citadel fourth straight loss

December 31, 2016

The new year can’t get here fast enough for The Citadel basketball team, which closed 2016 with a fourth straight loss on Saturday at Furman.

Paladins forward Kris Acox posted a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds as Furman cruised to an 83-68 victory at Timmons Arena in Greenville.

The Bulldogs fell to 7-8 overall and 0-2 in the Southern Conference despite 24 points from freshman Preston Parks, who is from Wade Hampton High School in Greenville.

“We had one bright spot, and that was Preston,” said Citadel coach Duggar Baucom. “He really competed and made some shots. He keeps getting better, and hopefully some guys will step up and help him.”

Parks was the only Bulldog in double figures as The Citadel shot 8 of 36 from 3-point range (22.2 percent) and had 12 shots blocked by Furman (8-6, 1-0).

Sophomore Quayson Williams, shooting 43 percent from long range coming in, was 0 of 6 from 3-point range and did not score. Sophomore post player Zane Najdawi, averaging 17.6 points, was 2 of 10 for six points.

Meanwhile, Furman shot 53.4 percent from the field with 52 points in the paint. Acox, 6-6 and 215 points, and guard Devin Sibley (20 points) combined for 16 of 21 from the field.

“Acox threw our guys around like rag dolls,” Baucom said. “And we don’t guard Sibley, who is their best player.”

Furman closed the first half on an 18-4 run for a 37-27 lead at the break. The Bulldogs closed to within 64-57 with 5:45 left on two free throws by Parks, but never got closer than that.

The Citadel plays Monday at Wofford, which was 5-8 before its SoCon opener against Mercer on Saturday.

“Mike Young has been the class of the league really for 10 years,” Baucom said of the Terriers’ coach. “Seems like they always come with a losing record in non-conference, and then go straight to the top of the league.

“We’ll have to be way, way better than we were today to even compete on the same floor with them.”