Greenville, SC - The Liberty Flames' strong second-half comeback fell just short Friday night at Furman as the Paladins held on to edge LU 86-83.
Liberty trailed by 24 with less than 12-and-a-half minutes to play, but staged a furious rally to within three in the final seconds. With six-tenths of a second on the clock, Casey Roberts inbounded the ball to John Caleb Sanders with the chance to tie. However, Sanders was unable to grab hold of the ball and Furman escaped with the three-point win.
Stephen Croone led the Paladins' early surge, finishing with a career-high 40 points, including 23 in the first half. The sophomore hit 11-of-16 shots on the night, including 5-of-7 from three-point range and 13-of-21 at the free throw line.
Antwan Burrus led Liberty with 19 points, followed by Joe Retic and Tomasz Gielo, who each had a season-high 16 points each. Sanders rounded out the Flames' double-figure scorers with 15 points. The Paladins shot 56 percent for the game to Liberty's 45 percent.
The Flames are off until Saturday, Dec. 28 when they host Southeastern out of Florida.