ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Jordan Miller scored 20 points, and Furman shot 89 percent from the free throw line in the second half as the Paladins held off UNC Asheville 72-66 in non-conference action at Justice Center Friday night.
The Bulldogs (0-5) were led by sophomore guard J.P. Primm with a season-high 20 points.
The Paladins (4-1) went 25-of-31 from the free throw for the game. In the second half, they went 24-of-27 as they held off a late Asheville comeback.
The Bulldogs had Chris Stephenson with 16 points. John Williams added 12 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots.
"We played hard and played together but missed too many open shots," commented Asheville coach Eddie Biedenbach. "Our defense was inconsistent and had a few unforced turnovers that just hurt us at the wrong time.
"We're making progress, and give Furman credit for making its free throws," added Biedenbach. "We still have a lot of work to do, but we're starting to get better."
Furman got 17 points from Bryson Barnes with 17 points, while Justin Dehm chipped in 15 points.
The game was close all the way until a Paladin surge midway through the second half. With the game tied at 46-46 at the six-minute mark, Furman scored 11 straight points to jump to a 57-46 at the 3:01 mark. Miller led the run with seven points as he knocked down a key three-pointer, hit two free throws and a lay-up.
Primm led a Bulldog rally as he scored 10 points in the final three minutes to get Asheville close. His long trey cut the Furman lead to 67-63 with 25 seconds remaining.
However, the Paladins went 13-of-14 from the charity stripe in the final two minutes to keep the Bulldogs at bay.
The game featured 14 lead changes and was tied 12 times. Asheville out-rebounded Furman 37-33. Freshman center D.J. Cunningham grabbed a season-best seven rebounds.
UNC Asheville plays next on Monday night against #5 Kentucky. The game will be played at Freedom Hall in Louisville and will start at 7 p.m. Monday's game will be televised by FoxSportSouth.