Furman Loses in Conference Tourney. Again.
The Paladins suffered a fate all too familiar.
Another year, another Southern Conference Tournament loss for Furman.
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Another year, another Southern Conference Tournament loss for Furman. In the Southern Conference Quarterfinal, 3 seed Furman faced 6 seed VMI. This matchup came after Furman’s rival, Wofford was defeated by Mercer to claim the other semifinal spot. This was only the second time these two teams met as VMI faced COVID issues, preventing a rematch against the Paladins. Earlier this season, the Keydets pulled a 73-72 upset over Furman.
The match was closely contested until the Keydets gained a six-point lead with 12:52 remaining. The Paladins battled back to take the lead with 5:26 remaining after Clay Mounce made a three-point jumper assisted by Mike Bothwell. After this, Furman took off with a lead varying from 10-15 points. The Keydets battled back and cut the lead just as the Paladins faced some cold shooting issues with 33 seconds remaining. The score was 80-80 when the clock ran out, and the VMI carried their momentum from a 15-point comeback into overtime, out-scoring Furman 91-90.
Noah Gurley scored 30 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, and made 7 assists. Clay Mounce and Alex Hunter scored 17 points each. Mike Bothwell closed out with 12 points. Jaylon Pugh found the rim to finish with 9 points. The only points off the bench came from Jalen Slawson, who scored 5 points. Slawson also got 7 rebounds (5 defensive and 2 offensive). It seems that Furman’s bench scoring dry for this game was a contributor to the resulting score.
As of now, Clay Mounce seems to be the only senior leaving from this Furman squad. Alex Hunter will be returning due to the NCAA’s added year of eligibility. With an experienced point guard returning, the current roster continuing to improve, and promising recruits coming, the Paladins seem to be set for a powerful run in the SoCon in this upcoming season. As other teams will be rebuilding, the Paladins seem to be reloading.