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Published: Wednesday, 11/28/2007

Falcons' defense helps beat Furman


GREENVILLE, S.C. - Ryne Hamblet scored 13 points, making all seven of his free throws, to lead Bowling Green to a 67-58 win over Furman last night.

Chris Knight and Nate Miller added 12 each for the Falcons, who built a 22-point lead early in the second half.

The bigger, stronger and sometimes quicker Falcons proved too much for Furman as Bowling Green began a three-game southern road trip.

The Paladins still have not claimed a victory in five games this season, while Bowling Green improved to 4-2.

"The way we ended the [first] half was huge," said Bowling Green coach Louis Orr. "I think we had 12 or 13 stops on [Furman] possessions. That was the difference in the game. When we defend like that, good things happen."

Bowling Green was true on 50.9 percent of its field goals (28 of 55).

"We've just got to keep playing in the team concept," said Furman center Stanley Jones, who led the Paladins with

15 points. "It doesn't matter how old, young, talented, whatever. You're only as strong as your weakest link and our weakest link, so far, has been trying to play a whole game."

After the teams played even for seven minutes, Bowling Green took control and outscored the Paladins 23-7 in what proved to be the difference in the game.

Bowling Green forced Furman into its worst shooting night of the season - just 17 of 52 field goals for 32.7 percent and four of 18 from 3-point range for 22.2 percent.

Sticking to an aggressive man-to-man defense, the Falcons never allowed the Furman offense to get untracked.

After taking an 18-point lead at the half Bowling Green extended the advantage to 21 on a Knight rebound shot with 14:23 remaining.

Furman went on a defensive tear of its own in the second half, holding the Falcons scoreless for seven minutes. During that period it cut the 21-point deficit (47-26) to 11 (47-36) with 9:34 remaining.

The rally slowed at that point, although the Paladins still managed to pull within eight (59-51) with 2:03 remaining. That was as close as it got, however, as Furman is off to its worst start since the 1957-58 season.

"They're [Paladins] young, but they're going to get better and better. For us this is a great win," Orr said.

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