College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, December 20, 2013
For Stephen Croone, a six-foot sophomore guard from Covington, Georgia, it was lights out as he led the Furman Paladins to an 86-83 victory over the Liberty Flames Friday night.
Croone, who scored 30 points in a win over Gardner Webb earlier in the season, set a personal best mark with 40 points on 11-for-16 shooting, including 5-for-7 from three-point range. He cashed in 13 of 21 free throws and nabbed 11 rebounds for his second career double-double and first of this season to go with three assists and a steal.
Furman (5-6) outscored Liberty, 43-32 in the first half, and held off a late rally by the Flames for the win. The Paladins led by as many as 22 points midway through the second half, and were up 77-68 with three minutes to go after a pair of free throws by Croone. Liberty cut the lead to two points with 39 seconds left, but could get no closer as Furman players cashed in their foul shots down the stretch. Furman shot 56% for the game and knocked down 10 of 19 threes, a 53% rate.
The Paladins next take the court on December 28 at Cal, as part of a two-day, West coast trip. They play at UC-Davis on the 30th before returning home to open their Southern conference season at home, hosting the Chattanooga Mocs on January 4.