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CIT 2017 Recap: Furman struts, Saint Peters limps into Final Four

Furman moves on after a confident win over Campbell, while Saint Peters edges Texas State in a low scoring affair

NCAA Basketball: Furman at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

While you were gearing up to watch Gonzaga, Xavier, Oregon and Kansas play for a trip to the Final Four, a quartet of (admittedly less illustrious) teams were battling in quarterfinal action of their own in the Postseason Tournament.

After the dust had settled, Furman had bested Campbell in a 79-64 bout, and Saint Peters had taken down Texas State by a score of 49-44.

The first game of the day saw the Furman Paladins (23-11, 14-4 Southern) of South Carolina travel to their state’s northern counterpart to take on the Campbell Fighting Camels (19-18, 7-11 Big South) at home.

Coming off of two 17+ point wins over Houston Baptist and UT Martin, the Camels were hot.

In a similarly blistering blowout, Furman handed USC Upstate a 22-point loss in their previous outing.

The opening stanza saw Furman slowly build its lead. The Paladins led by as much as 15 when, with four minutes left in the first half, a steal yielded a Furman three pointer, stretching the lead to 37-22.

The Camels cut the lead to nine, 39-30, going into the halftime break.

The Paladins extended their lead in beginning of the second half, but behind the efforts of Chris Clemons, the Camels mounted a comeback and brought the game to 58-53 with seven and a half minutes to play.

But they were unable to get over the hump. A 15-0 Furman run was the coup de grâce, and Furman won 79-64 to move on to the semifinals.

Kris Acox led the Paladins with 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Devin Sibley added 20 points of his own.

Clemons led all scorers with 29 points in the loss. The sophomore standout averaged 25 points in a record breaking season for Campbell. You might remember him from his mind-blowing, tournament record-shattering, iconoclastic 51 point performance in an upset win against defending champs UNC-Asheville in the Big South quarterfinals.

While you, a person who enjoys watching good games, were watching Gonzaga play Xavier, I, a masochist, subjected myself to a game in which both teams would score a combined 93 points.

The second game of the day saw the Texas State Bobcats host Saint Peters. After this game, however, neither team should be allowed through the pearly gates.

The Bobcats (22-14, 11-7 Sun Belt) leapt out to a 14-0 lead, and the Peacocks (21-13, 14-6 MAAC) were abysmal early. They would not tally a point until nine minutes had elapsed. Then, when score was 23-6 with just under eight minutes to play in the first half, it was Texas State’s turn to be very bad at basketball. The Peacocks scored 17 unanswered points in the last 7:50 to knot the game at 23 going into the half.

The Texas State color commentator had the nerve to come back from a commercial break and utter the words “We’ve got a barn burner here.” The score was 37-36 with about eight minutes to play.

This game would not set fire to a barn if it was made out of matches.

Saint Peters ended up winning 49-44.

The Peacocks shot 31.8 percent from the field and 15.8 percent from beyond the arc. Worse yet, the Bobcats shot 29.4 percent from the field and 10 percent from deep in the loss. Bobby Conley of Texas State led all scorers with 13 points.

Saint Peters and Furman are moving on to the Final Four of the CIT, which will take place on March 29.