Croone continues to shine for Paladins


While their teams each suffered blowout defeats, a pair of former local basketball stand outs still had big performances on the hardwood Tuesday.

Stephen Croone scored half of his team’s points in Furman’s 75-54 loss to Virginia Tech.

Croone not only finished the road defeat with 27 points on 8-of-14 shooting, but added seven rebounds and four assists. He scored seven of the team’s first nine points as the visitors found themselves down 26-9 and collected all but four of Furman’s 17 first-half points. In the second half, the Paladins got as close as 48-39 as Croone capped an 18-5 run with a lay up at the 9:16 mark.

The guard from Newton is off to a fantastic start in his sophomore season, leading the the Southern Conference school in scoring (22.2) and shooting (37-of-73 from the field, 51%).

Furman (2-3), which has lost three consecutive games, including the last two to College of Charleston and the Hokies by a combined 55 points, hosts Brevard Saturday at 12:00 p.m.

Bernard Thompson had missed his team’s previous two games, but made a big impact in his return Tuesday. The Rockdale graduate, who has been nursing an ankle injury, scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half of Florida Gulf Coast’s 82-62 loss to N.C. State.

Thompson shot 5-of-13 from the field and added three assists and three steals, though he missed all five of his attempts from three-point range, part of a 4-of-16 night for the Eagles from behind the arc. Thompson, a junior guard, is averaging 14.2 points and three assists for Gulf Coast, which had its four-game winning streak snapped and fell to 4-2. The Atlantic Sun school hosts Iona Sunday at 2:05 p.m.

News and notes

Brianna Lawrence had seven points and six rebounds in Tennessee State’s 81-78, overtime loss to Lipscomb Tuesday. Lawrence, a sophomore from Rockdale, is sixth in scoring (5.7) and tied for fourth in rebounding (3.4) for the Tigers, who are 1-6 after four consecutive losses……Mississippi State moved to 5-0 with an easy victory over Savannah State, though Breanna Richardson was held scoreless for the first time in her young career. Richardson, a former teammate of Lawrence’s at Rockdale and a current collegiate freshman, was 0-of-4 shooting from the field in 24 minutes, though she did collect six rebounds and hand out two assists in the 81-63 victory.