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Furman Holds Off Samford, 53-48

Cierra Carter
Cierra Carter

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Stephania Oramas scored a season high 15 points and keyed a decisive second half rally that carried Furman past Samford, 53-48, in Southern Conference women's basketball action Thursday evening at Timmons Arena.

The victory gave Furman (14-13, 7-4 SoCon) the series sweep over Samford (10-17, 3-9 SoCon) and helped the Paladins remain in a third place tie with East Tennessee State in the SoCon standings with three regular season games remaining.

Oramas, a junior who has seen her playing time increase dramatically since two-time All-SoCon guard Whitney Bunn suffered a season ending leg injury on Feb. 2 at Western Carolina, delivered 10 of her 15 points in the second half, helping the Paladins rally from a seven-point deficit with a decisive16-2 run that staked Furman to a lead it would never relinquish.

After Samford's Katie Allen bottomed out a 3-pointer to put Samford up 38-31 with 3:35 remaining in the third quarter, Cierra Carter ignited a 10-0 Paladin run with a 3-pointer that Oramas followed with a steal and layup to pull Furman to within 38-36.  A Le'Jzae Davidson trey put the Paladins up, 39-38, and Oramas completed the 10-0 quarter ending spurt with a basket off an offensive rebound with 17 lseconds on the clock for a 41-38 lead.

Samford's Ellen Riggins opend the fourth quarter with a layup, but the Paladins continued their spree with the next three baskets, inclulding two by Oramas, whose layup with 4:18 left gave Furman a 47-40 lead — its biggest of the game.

Hannah Nichols, who paced Samford with 11 of her game high 17 points in the first half, shook off a scoreless third period to rally the Bulldogs with a pair of buckets — the second coming on a 3-point play with 1:21 to go to get Samford to within 49-47.

The Paladins, however, put the game away at the charity stripe, gettting a pair of free throws from DeAnneisha Jackson and Oramas over the final minute of play.

Jackson delivered 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Paladins, who got 11 points and nine caroms from Cierra Carter.

Furman shot 45.9 percent from the field (17-for-37) but attempted 16 fewer shots by Samford due to 21 turnovers, which the Bulldogs used to record a 24-5 scoring advantage off miscues.

The Paladins made up the difference at the free throw line, knocking down 16-of-24 chances to the Bulldogs' 4-of-10.  Furman also claimed a 37-27 rebounding advantage.

Oramas connected on 6-of-9 shots, including her lone 3-point attempt, converted two of three free throws to go along with three steals.

Samford made just 1-of-9 shots from beyond the arc in the second half.

Furman plays its final home game of the season Saturday when it entertains Mercer in a 2:00 p.m. contest at Timmons Arena.

Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information