Senior Alex Hunter poured in a career-high 23 points to pace three Paladins in double figures as Furman downed Samford, 78-64, in Southern Conference men’s basketball action on Wednesday evening at Timmons Arena.
The victory improved the Paladins to 14-7 overall and 8-4 in league play, while Samford fell to 6-12 overall and 2-9 in the SoCon.
Hunter, a native of Raleigh, N.C., connected on 7-of-9 three-pointer attempts to pour in a career-high 23 points and added a season-high six rebounds. Junior Mike Bothwell hit on 8-of-17 shots to finish with 19 points and six assists, while Noah Gurley netted 16 points to become the 47th player in Furman basketball history to surpass 1,000 career points.
Furman trailed 28-25 with under four minutes remaining in the first half when Gurley scored in the paint and Hunter followed with a pair of three to give the Paladins a 33-28 lead. Hunter answered a Samford basket with a third consecutive triple to send the Paladins to the locker room with a 36-30 advantage.
Bothwell netted five straight points to open the second half and Hunter drained another three ahead of a Garrett Hien free throw as Furman increased the margin to 45-32 with 17:36 to play. Samford trimmed the margin back to eight points, but the visitors were unable to get any closer the rest of the way.
Furman shot 51.7% from the field, including 13-of-35 from behind the arc, and totaled 20 assists with just 10 turnovers. The Paladins forced the Bulldogs into 17 turnovers en route to a 17-4 edge in points off of turnovers.
Logan Dye tallied 15 points and Jaron Rillie added 13 to lead the Bulldogs. Samford shot just 43.9% from the field in the loss.
The Paladins hit the road on Saturday to face Mercer in a 2 p.m. contest at Hawkins Arena in Macon, Ga., before returning home to host VMI on Monday, February 22, and The Citadel on Wednesday, February 24, in the home finale. All three games will be streamed live on ESPN+. Fans can listen to the Tom Van Hoy deliver the play-by-play call of Saturday’s game on ESPN Upstate at 1330 AM in Greenville, and thru the Radio.com app.
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