Trey Bonham converted on the first of two free throw attempts with 3.2 seconds left to give VMI a 74-73 victory over Furman in Southern Conference men’s basketball action Wednesday evening in Lexington, Va.
The loss dropped Furman to 10-4 overall and 4-1 in the league, while the Keydets improved to 8-7 overall and 3-3 in the SoCon.
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With VMI trailing 60-55 and under eight minutes to play, Sean Conway connected on a three-pointer and guard Greg Parham followed with seven straight points as the Keydets used a 10-0 run to grab a 65-60 lead with under four minutes to play. After Furman tied the game with five consecutive points, Parham drained a three and answered a Jalen Slawson breakaway dunk with another basket with 1:25 remaining to give VMI a 70-67 advantage.
Furman’s Alex Hunter drained a three from the top of the key to tie the game with 57 seconds left before Myles Lewis slashed to the basket to restore VMI’s lead and Jake Stephens made good on 1-of-2 free throws to increase the Keydet lead to 73-70 with 17 seconds on the clock. Hunter answered again for the Paladins by drawing a three-shot foul and converting on all three free throws with 9.1 seconds to go to even the game at 73-73.
Following a timeout by the Keydets, Bonham drew a two-shot foul on a drive to the basket with 3.2 seconds left and put VMI in front by making his first free throw. The freshman missed the second, but Jalen Slawson’s desperation half-court shot missed as time expired.
Parham paced VMI with 24 points, while Stephens finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Bonham added 13 points and Conway rounded out the Keydets’ double-figure scorers with 12. VMI shot 47.1%, including 54.2% in the second half, and converted on 11-of-25 three-point attempts.
The Paladins shot just 37% from the field and connected on 12-of-39 three-point tries. Slawson posted career highs with 18 points, 14 rebounds and five steals to lead the Paladins, while Mike Bothwell and Noah Gurley added 14 and 12 points, respectively. Hunter contributed nine points and seven assists.
Furman continues its road trip on Saturday in Johnson City, Tenn., with a 4 p.m. tip-off versus ETSU. Fans can watch the game on ESPN+ and listen to the “Voice of the Paladins”, Dan Scott, deliver the play-by-play call on ESPN Upstate at 97.7 FM/1330 AM in Greenville, 97.1 FM/ 950 AM in Spartanburg, and thru the Radio.com app.
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