Furman Rolls Past Samford and Gurley Notches 1,000 Points
Hunter leads the Paladins over Bulldogs.
With this win, Furman showed that their bench is getting better; and the entire team is making progress in playing more as a team.
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On Wednesday, Feb. 17, the Furman Paladins (14-7) hosted the Samford Bulldogs (6-12). As the SoCon regular season reaching its final stretch, every game matters for seeding placement heading into the post-season tournament. After Samford’s four-game losing streak, Samford was eager to shock the SoCon with a win over the Paladins.
Samford opened up the game aggressively with consistent full court coverage and stayed competitive throughout the first half of the game. “It was clear they were the harder working team in the first half,” stated head coach Bob Richey. However, the Paladins bounced back with aggressive play. Noah Gurley scored his 1,000th career point with a layup assisted by Jalen Slawson. Gurley is now the 47th player in Furman’s history to score over 1,000 in their career. With 2:52 left in the half, Furman’s Alex Hunter took the game into his hands and made three consecutive 3-point shots. This turned the game in Furman’s favor and ended the first half 36-30. Furman closed out at halftime with 48% on the field and 36% from outside the arc.
After the start of the second half, the Paladins went on a 9-2 run to propel Furman further ahead of Samford. Aside from starters, Hunter, Bothwell and Gurley, made 3-point shots and scored in the paint; we saw action coming off the bench with Slawson, Lawrence and Kenney scoring a combination of 19 points. Hunter’s shots continued to fall and granted him a new career-high 23 points. Hein, Bothwell, Lawrence, Anderson and Kenney all combined 8 steals 2 for the Paladins. Furman was able to beat a tough Samford with a final score, 78-64. We saw eleven Paladins on the court. The Paladins finished 30-58 (51.7%) FG and 13-35 (37.1%) from the 3-point. Overall, the Paladins played as a team with 20 assists and forced 10 turnovers.
Hunter went 8-10 FG, 7-9 from the 3PT, five defensive rebounds and six offensive rebounds. Mike Bothwell scored 19 points and six assists. Noah Gurley was aggressive in the paint scoring 6-8FG and 16 points totals. Clay Mounce was able to have seven defensive rebounds, eight offense rebounds and four assists. Jalen Slawson went 4-5 in the paint and closed out with eight points. Jonny Lawrence is getting better each game and made two 3-point shots, closing out with six points. Colin Kenney has been catching attention with his agility and tough plays. Kenney had five points going 2-4 FG and 1-3 from outside the arc. “Great effort from our guys on playing more connected especially in the second half,” said Bob Richey in the post-game show.
With this win, Furman showed that their bench is getting better; and the entire team is making progress in playing more as a team. However, this veteran ball club must show up every game in a tough conference like the SoCon. Every single game matters in this final stretch. The Paladins will prepare to play the Mercer Bears on Saturday for an exciting SoCon matchup. Furman has already beaten Mercer earlier this season but only edged the Bears with an 83-80 victory. Mercer is coming off a 71-64 victory on an ETSU team with whom Furman split the season. This game will be streamed played at 2:00PM in Macon, Georgia and streamed on ESPN+.