Jones-Gibson scores 19, Samford blunts late Western Carolina charge to win 78-72

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    BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Darius Jones-Gibson scored 19 points, Michael Bradley added 16, and Samford held off a second-half surge by Western Carolina 78-72 on Saturday night.

    Christen Cunningham scored 13 points, Marcus Johnson added 12, Tyler Hood 11, and the Bulldogs (9-14, 2-8 Southern Conference) made 26 of 28 free throws.

    After seven lead changes and four ties, Hood put Samford up 24-22 with a free throw to spark an 11-3 run and the Bulldogs led 35-30 at halftime.

    James Sinclair pulled the Catamounts within 47-45 with a jumper in the second half, but Samford replied with a 7-2 run and pulled away. Sinclair hit six straight points and pulled Western Carolina within 74-72 with a 3 with 19 seconds left, but Bradley and Johnson hit a pair of free throws each to blunt the charge.

    James Sinclair led Western Carolina (9-12, 4-5) with 26 points, Justin Browning had 12, Mike Brown 11, and Rhett Harrelson 10.

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