Asheville, NC (Sports Network) - Bobby Austin scored 17 points and Stephen Croone chipped in with 11 as the Furman Paladins outlasted the Samford Bulldogs, 55-51, in the first round of the Southern Conference Tournament.
With the Paladins (7-23) up by two with 11 seconds to play, Austin sank a pair from the free throw line to clinch the victory and set up a clash with fourth-seeded Appalachian State in Saturday's quarterfinals.
Tim Williams finished with 15 points and six rebounds for Samford (11-21), which had dropped three of its last four games prior to tournament play. Tyler Hood contributed 13 points and Clide Geffrard Jr. scored 10 in defeat.
Furman went into the break tied at 25-25 thanks to a triple late in the stanza from Austin, who along with Croone, later combined for a 9-2 run which put the Paladins ahead 49-44 with 6:09 to play and they kept the advantage the rest of the way.