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Panthers rally for three-point win over Pacers, 76-73
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Panthers rally for three-point win over Pacers, 76-73

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RALEIGH, N.C.—Carrington Young’s tip in with 18 seconds remaining proved to be the game-winner Tuesday as Ferrum College’s men’s basketball rallied from a 12-point, second-half deficit for a 76-73 non-conference victory over William Peace (N.C.) University.

The contest was the season opener for both clubs which are former USA South Athletic Conference rivals.

Ferrum (1-0) is 2-2 in four season openers with head coach Tyler Sanborn at the helm.

The Panthers last won a season opener in 2017-18 when they bested Randolph College at William P. Swartz Gymnasium in Sanborn’s college head coaching debut.

“It was ugly, but we are excited to be able to start the season with a win,’’ Sanborn said. “With limited practice time and some new pieces in our rotation, I knew there would be some growing pains, which were evident.

“Fortunately, we found a way and I will never complain about a win. I am excited for our guys to experience some success.,’’ Sanborn said.

The Pacers (0-1) led by 12 points, 60-48, in the second half, but that advantage evaporated courtesy of a 24-10 surge by the Panthers.

Trailing 72-70 after a 3-pointer by Ferrum senior Kajuan Madden-McAfee completed that run, Peace recaptured the lead when Tyler Parton swished a 3-pointer.

That set the stage for Young’s heroics, and senior teammate Nick Helton secured the win by making a pair of free throws with one second left.

Madden-McAfee’s trey provided Ferrum with its first lead of the second half.

Young, a red-shirt senior, grabbed 11 rebounds, six of which he corralled in the second half. The Panthers outrebounded the Pacers, 47-28.

Helton tallied 16 of his team-best 22 points after intermission. He hit four of his six 3-point field goals in the second half and was 4 of 4 from the free-throw line.

Madden-McAfee scored eight of his 14 points and pulled down eight of his nine rebounds over the game’s closing 20 minutes.

Senior returnee James Smith Jr. finished with 20 points and distributed a game-best six assists. In scoring 12 first-half points, Smith converted 4 of 7 shots. Also, he passed out five assists and claimed three rebounds.

Darius Kemp totaled 12 points and eight rebounds in his first game for the Panthers. Kemp scored 10 of his points in the opening half on a 4 of 6 shooting display. He grabbed six rebounds and recorded two steals after halftime.

Ferrum led 5-0 at the outset, but Peace would rally and later secure advantages of 13-11 and 30-24. That six-point spread matched its largest lead of the half.

A Parton 3-pointer with 11 second left produced the Pacers’ one-point, 40-39, edge at halftime. It was Parton’s lone field goal of the first half.

Ferrum won the second half, 37-33.

John Burwell scored 14 points in the first half for Peace and he distributed three assists and collected four steals.

Jalen Owens scored 10 first-half points.

Burwell tallied 12 points in the second half to finish with a game-best 26. Also, he passed out a team-best four assists. Donolly Tyrell Jr. pulled down a team-best seven rebounds.

Ferrum made 43.1% (25 of 58) of its shots from the field as opposed to Peace’s 41% (25 of 61).

Twelve of Ferrum’s 25 field goals were produced by an assist, while 11 of Peace’s 25 field goals were courtesy of an assist.

Ferrum overcame 20 turnovers which led to 24 points by the Pacers. The Panthers tallied five points off 11 Peace miscues.

Ferrum finished the game with advantages in second-chance points (18-13), points in the paint (26-24), fast-break points (4-2) and bench scoring (17-10).

Ferrum and Peace have played three times times as non-league opponents since the Panthers left the USA South for the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC).

The final game of the two-game, home-and-away set is Thursday at 5 p.m. at Swartz Gymnasium.

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