Furman Takes the Court Saturday Night at SoCon Men’s Basketball Championship

  • By cvbizz
  • March 4, 2021
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  • Furman, looking for its first tournament title and NCAA Tournament berth since 1980, enters the SoCon Men’s Basketball Championship as the No. 3 seed after posting a 16-8 overall record and 10-5 league mark during the regular season.
  • A win on Saturday night would earn Furman a trip to Sunday’s 7:30 p.m. semifinal round contest versus the winner of No. 2 seed Wofford and No. 7 Mercer/No. 10 Samford.
  • Furman is making its 68th appearance in the SoCon Tournament and sports a 52-61 (.460) all-time record in the event. The Paladins claimed tournament titles in 1971, 73, 74, 75, 78 and 1980.
  • In 2015, the Paladins advanced to the tournament final for the 10th time, but Furman dropped a 67-64 decision to Wofford at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center.
  • Juniors Mike Bothwell and Noah Gurley garnered second team All-Southern Conference honors and redshirt senior Clay Mounce earned third team accolades, it was announced earlier this week. Bothwell averaged 15.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game this season, while Gurley contributed 14.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists per contest.
  • Forward Noah Gurley averaged 21.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game over Furman’s final five regular season contests, including matching his career-high with 29 points in the regular season finale at Wofford. The Fayetteville, Ga., native surpassed 1,000 career points in a win over Samford on February 17.
  • Senior Alex Hunter drained three triples in the regular season finale at Wofford to become just the fifth player in school history to connect on 200 career three-pointers. A starter at point guard in 88 of the last 89 games for the Paladins, Hunter is averaging 10.9 points, 3.7 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game while leading the SoCon in assist-to-turnover ratio. He has shot 40.5% from behind the arc this season, including 42.6% from long range in SoCon play.
  • Head coach Bob Richey (89-33), now in his fourth year, ranks in the top 10 among active NCAA Division I coaches with a .730 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 1,252 career points.

Furman vs. VMI Series

  • Monday’s game marks the 102nd meeting between the Paladins and Keydets with Furman holding a 66-35 series lead.
  • Furman won 10 consecutive games versus VMI before the Keydets claimed a 74-73 win in Lexington, Va., on January 20, when Trey Bonham connected on a go-ahead free throw with 3.2 seconds left. Jalen Slawson has a career day with 18 points and 14 rebounds in the loss.
  • VMI’s return trip to Greenville was postponed twice due to COVID-19 issues within the Keydet program before being canceled.
  • Furman is 7-6 in 13 previous SoCon Tournament games versus VMI, including 2-1 in games played in Asheville, N.C.
  • In the last postseason matchup between the schools, VMI claimed a 62-56 victory over the Paladins in the opening round of the 2003 SoCon Men’s Basketball Championship at the North Charleston Coliseum.
  • Head coach Bob Richey sports a 6-1 record versus VMI.

Up Next:

SoCon Men’s Basketball Semifinals

Sunday, March 7 – 7:30 p.m.

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


Radio: ESPN Upstate

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