Coming off a tough overtime game at home the Bucs traveled to Greenville, South Carolina to face the Furman Paladins. With a win, the Bucs would remain in third place in the conference standings. Losing the game would result in a tie with Furman at fourth place.
The Bucs kept the first half close to begin. However, after a quick run by Furman with eight minutes remaining the deficit stretched to 29 to 21.
The Bucs trailed as many as 13. A layup by Patrick Good (Johnson City, Tennessee) with three seconds remaining brought the deficit to nine to end the first half. Furman led 41 to 32 at the half.
Jeromy Rodriguez (Santiago, Dominican Republic) led all scorers in the first half with 14 points, shooting an efficient 87 percent from the field.
Despite the Bucs good offense in the first half they struggled from outside. The Bucs defensive presence was not there in the first half.
Furman shot 59 percent and topped that with shooting 63 percent from three. Furman was led by two players who combined for 22 points in the half.
“They are not a physical team that’s how we beat them last time and we did not do it this time,” said head coach Steve Forbes. “We’re going back to the basics.”
The Bucs came out aggressive in the second half fighting their way to get within six points. With under 15 minutes remaining in the game, the Bucs trailed 49 to 43, but Furman’s offense exploded.
With nearly less than eight minutes left to play Furman took a commanding 20 point lead 71 to 51. It only got worse as Furman launched a barrage of three-pointers and defensive stop to take the lead to 30 points.
Rodriguez finished with a team-high 21 points and seven rebounds.
“We did not follow the game plan, guards were taking bad shots when we were having it our way inside,” said Forbes. “When you play like that this is what’s going to happen and it was embarrassing.”
The Bucs offense just never woke up after Furman applied pressure. In the end, the Bucs dropped in the conference standings tying fourth with Furman. With a 91 to 61 win, Furman improved to 20-5 and the Bucs dropped to 19-7.