Furman Men Vie For SoCon Title Saturday

  • By cvbizz
  • February 26, 2021
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  • The Furman Paladins travel to Wofford in search of their first Southern Conference regular season title since 2016-17 and their first outright title since the 1979-80 season.
  • The Paladins (10-4, .714), ranked No. 15 in the latest College Insider Mid-Major Top 25 and a SoCon-best No. 74 in the latest NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) Rankings, can secure a regular season title and their first No. 1 seed in the SoCon Tourney since 1991 with a win over the Terriers (11-5, .688). A Wofford win and UNCG (12-5, .706) victory at ETSU would give the title to UNCG, while a Terriers victory and Spartans loss would secure the championship for Wofford.
  • Furman moved into position to play for the championship by earning its fourth consecutive victory, a 72-63 triumph over The Citadel, in Wednesday night’s home finale at Timmons Arena. The Paladins rallied from a 10-point second half deficit by shooting 63% over the final 20 minutes as they completed the season sweep of the Bulldogs. Noah Gurley paced the Paladins with 21 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots, while Mike Bothwell and Alex Hunter poured in 14 points apiece.
  • With its 72-63 victory over The Citadel, Furman closed out its regular season home schedule having won 23 of its last 24 games at Timmons Arena and 39 in the last 42 regular season contests played in the facility. Furman is 74-12 at Timmons over the last six seasons, including 44-6 versus SoCon opposition.
  • Senior Alex Hunter drained a pair of three-pointers in Furman’s victory over The Citadel to move into a fifth-place tie with former Paladin standout Anthony Thomas with 199 career three-point baskets. A starter at point guard in 87 of the last 88 games for the Paladins, Hunter is averaging 10.9 points, 3.8 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game while leading the SoCon in assist-to-turnover ratio. He has shot 40.7% from behind the arc this season, including 43.0% from long range in SoCon play.
  • Head coach Bob Richey (89-32), now in his fourth year, ranks in the top 10 among active NCAA Division I coaches with a .736 winning percentage. He guided Furman to 23 victories in his first year as head coach before setting school records with 25 wins in each of the last two seasons.
  • Clay Mounce (13.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg) grabbed two rebounds in a Dec. 15 loss at Alabama to reach 500 for his career and become just the 10th player in school history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 150 assists in a career. He has joined Furman greats Bruce Evans, Jonathan Moore, Matt Rafferty, Karim Souchu and Derek Waugh as one of only six players in school history to post at least 1,200 points, 600 rebounds, 150 assists and 100 steals in a career as a Paladin. Mounce currently ranks 31st in school history with 1,240 career points.

Furman vs. Wofford Series

  • Saturday’s game will mark the 149th meeting between Furman and Wofford with the Paladins holding an 87-61 series lead.
  • Wofford, however, has won 23 of the last 30 meetings between the schools and claimed victory in each of the last nine meetings in Spartanburg.
  • Furman’s last win in Spartanburg was a 73-68 overtime triumph at the Benjamin Johnson Arena on January 24, 2011.
  • In the last meeting between the schools on February 6, in Greenville, Wofford rallied from a nine-point deficit midway through the second half to post a 75-67 victory. Storm Murphy paced the Terriers with 24 points, while Clay Mounce totaled 20 points and 10 rebounds for Furman. Alex Hunter added 15 for the Paladins and Noah Gurley finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Up Next:

SoCon Men’s Basketball Championship

Friday-Monday, March 5-8

Harrah’s Cherokee Center | Asheville, N.C.


Radio: ESPN Upstate

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