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Second Half Run Sends No. 25 Furman Past USC Upstate, 74-60; Paladins Claim 10th Straight Win

Clay Mounce
Clay Mounce

Spartanburg, S.C. -- No. 25 Furman opened the second half on a 27-6 run to erase a four-point halftime deficit en route to a 74-60 victory over USC Upstate Saturday afternoon at the Hodge Center in Spartanburg, S.C.

With the win, Furman became the first Southern Conference team since Davidson in 1963-64 to begin the season at 10-0, The 14-point triumph marked Furman's 17th victory in its last 18 games and 16th straight regular season win dating back to last season. The victory gave the Paladins five true road wins this season and marked their eighth consecutive true road victory, the most by a Furman team since winning the final seven road contests of the 1931-32 season and first of the 1932-33 campaign.

Trailing 34-30 at the break, Furman's Noah Gurley opened the second half with a three-point play and Jordan Lyons followed two USC Upstate free throws with five straight points before Alex Hunter drained a triple to propel the Paladins to a 41-36 lead with 17:13 to go. Gurley's driving layup and a tip-in from Matt Rafferty extended the margin to nine points, and Furman answered a Spartan basket with a 9-1 spurt to up the lead to 54-39 on Mike Bothwell's basket with 10:39 remaining. After Malik Moore connected on 1-of-2 free throws for USC Upstate, Lyons hit another three-pointer to give Furman a 57-40 advantage with 9:26 to go.

The Paladins, who never led by fewer than 12 points the rest of the way, shot 59.3% in the second half and connected on 7-of-13 second half three-point attempts to shoot 45.9% for the game. Furman held USC Upstate (2-8) to 38.6% shooting and netted 26 points off 17 Spartan turnovers.

Lyons nailed 5-of-13 three-point attempts to post a team-high 20 points, while Gurley scored a career-high 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting. Rafferty contributed 11 points and nine boards, and Hunter finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

Moore paced the Spartans with 24 points and 11 rebounds.

Furman returns home to host Charleston Southern on Tuesday, December 11, in the "Last Day of Class Bash" at Timmons Arena at 7 p.m. before entertaining UNCW on Saturday, December 15.

NOTE: The Southern Conference announced its Nexstar basketball broadcast schedule this week, which will include Furman's January 19 visit to Wofford and February 9 home game versus ETSU. The broadcast package also includes all four quarterfinal games and both semifinals of the men's portion of the Ingles Southern Conference Basketball Championships presented by General Shale, as well as the women's title game. All of the games in the package will also air concurrently on either ESPN3 or ESPN+. Nexstar Media Group, spearheaded by WYCW (CW62) in the Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville markets, will broadcast 17 total games this season throughout the league's six-state footprint through a network of Nexstar stations.

SoCon Nexstar Broadcast Schedule
Jan. 5 – Mercer at Wofford, 7 p.m.
Jan. 12 – Western Carolina at The Citadel, 1 p.m.
Jan. 19 – Western Carolina at VMI, 1 p.m.
Jan. 19 – Furman at Wofford (CW62 only), 7 p.m.
Jan. 26 – Chattanooga at Wofford, 7 p.m.
Feb. 2 – Wofford at The Citadel, 1 p.m.
Feb. 9 – ETSU at Furman, 4 p.m.
Feb. 16 – UNCG at Wofford, 7 p.m.
Feb. 23 – Samford at The Citadel, 1 p.m.
March 2 – The Citadel at VMI, 1 p.m.
March 9 – SoCon Championship men's quarterfinal, 12 p.m.
March 9 – SoCon Championship men's quarterfinal, 2:30 p.m.
March 9 – SoCon Championship men's quarterfinal, 6 p.m.
March 9 – SoCon Championship men's quarterfinal, 8:30 p.m.
March 10 – SoCon Championship women's final, 12 p.m.
March 10 – SoCon Championship men's semifinal, 4 p.m.
March 10 – SoCon Championship men's semifinal, 6:30 p.m.

Station list
WYCW-62 – Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville
WJHL-TV – Tri-Cities (Tenn.)
WFXR/WWCW – Roanoke, Va.
WCBD – Charleston, S.C.
WIAT – Birmingham, Ala. (select games)