GREENVILLE, S.C. –Trevis Simpson and Derrell Armstrong combined to score 52 points but UNCG couldn't get enough big stops when they needed to as Furman handed the Spartans a 93-85 setback, Saturday at Timmons Arena. The loss snapped UNCG's seven-game winning streak.
Playing on the road for the first time in three weeks, UNCG (9-15 overall, 7-5 SoCon) struggled in the early going against the more physical Paladins (12-11, 6-6). Furman led by as many as 11 points in the first half and held a 39-30 advantage at halftime.
Furman threatened to run away with the game early in the second half, opening a 14-point lead when a Bobby Austin three-pointer made it 47-33 with 17:01 to play.
But the Spartans charged back, using a 15-6 run to pull within 53-48 when Aloysius Henry completed an alley-oop dunk with 12:06 to play.
The Paladins quickly pushed the lead back to double figures (60-50) and eventually led by 13 points when Brandon Sebirumbi completed a three-point with 10:01 left to make it 63-50. But again, UNCG rallied.
Nicholas Paulos made a three-pointer, Armstrong hit two free throws and Simpson threw down an alley-oop dunk of his own to pull the Spartans to within 63-57 with 8:52 to go. Henry made it 63-59 on a tip-in moments later, getting UNCG as close as they'd been since early in the first half.
The Spartans twice pulled to within three points, the last time coming when a Simpson jumper made it 68-65 with 5:57 remaining.
Furman, however, responded to the charge. The Paladins went on an 8-2 run and led 76-67 with 4:54 left.
UNCG kept it interesting down the stretch, pulling to within 81-77 on a Simpson layup with 2:06 to play, but Furman's Jordan Loyd sank a three-pointer from the left corner with the shot clock winding down on the Paladin's next possession, making it an 84-77 game with 1:31 to play. UNCG never got closer than four points after that.
Simpson finished with a game-high 28 points on 9-of-21 shooting. The sophomore guard went 8-of-9 from the free throw line and added five rebounds. Armstrong scored 24 points, going 11-of-12 from the line. He also chipped in with six rebounds and two assists.
Henry enjoyed his second straight fine effort for the Spartans, scoring 13 points with three boards and two blocks.
Sebirumbi led Furman with 20 points, one of six Paladins in double figures. Richard Brown (16), Charlie Reddick (14), Bryant Irwin (12), Bobby Austin (11) and Loyd (11) also reached double digits.
UNCG shot 42 percent for the game, including 53 percent in the second half. The Spartans were 27-of-31 from the free throw line, but just 6-of-21 from three-point range. UNCG out-rebounded the Paladins, 40-32.
Furman shot 45 percent for the game and made 37-of-47 from the line.
The Spartans next visit Samford, 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 9.