GREENVILLE, S.C. — Junior center Clive Weeden had his first career double-double for the Big Green in over a year with 11 points and rebounds (both career highs), but he could not overcome the 22 points and eight boards posted by Furman's Amu Saaka as the host Paladins (3-0) defeated Dartmouth (0-3) on Saturday night in Timmons Arena, 83-60.
Weeden hit 5-of-10 from the floor, including his first career three-pointer, while snaring seven of his 11 boards at the offensive end. His double-double is the first by a Big Green player since the 2007-08 season. Junior Ronnie Dixon led Dartmouth with 14 points, hitting 5-of-8 from the floor with a three-pointer, and sophomore forward Josh Riddle added a career-high 10 points. But the Big Green shot just 35.6 percent (21-of-59) for the game while Furman topped 50 percent at 31-of-60 (.517).
Joining Saaka, who hit 8-of-10 from the floor including both three-point attempts, in double figures was Bryson Barnes with 17 points off the bench, and guard Jordan Miller with 11. Back-up point guard Darryl Evans had 11 assists for the Paladins without a turnover.
Dartmouth briefly had the lead in the opening minutes when sophomore David Rufful drained a three-pointer and Weeden got an easy layup on a pass from senior Robby Pride for a 5-4 lead. The tide quickly changed as Furman went on an 11-2 run, fueled by treys from Justin Dehm and Noah States.
The eight-point Paladin edge was cut in half as Weeden, Riddle and Rufful each hit a layup and Weeden canned a jumper. Another Furman trifecta, this time from Barnes, jump-started a 19-6 spurt over the final five and a half minutes of the first stanza, sending the Big Green to the locker room trailing by 17, 40-23.
Shooting accuracy was the story at the half as Dartmouth was just 9-of-28 (.321) from the floor with one three-pointer in eight attempts, while the Paladins hit half of their shots (14-of-28), including 4-of-5 from downtown. Saaka had 14 points his 22 points in the first half to lead all players at the intermission.
The two sides mostly traded points for the first three minutes of the second half before Furman ripped off 10 straight over little more than two minutes. Dartmouth never got closer than 21 points the rest of the night.
After playing three games on the road to start the season, Dartmouth returns to Leede Arena on Tuesday evening in search of its first win when it hosts the Loyola (Md.) Greyhounds at 7 p.m. Furman will fly to Houston to take its undefeated record to Rice on Tuesday for a game at 8 p.m. (EST).