Greenville, S.C. – Senior Amu Saaka poured in a season-high 31 points and Furman buried 12 three-pointers en route to an 81-61 victory over Appalachian State in Southern Conference men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon before a crowd of 2,135 at Timmons Arena.
The Paladins improved to 16-6 overall and 8-3 in SoCon play while Appalachian State slipped to 8-13 overall and 4-7 in the league. The win was Furman's fifth in its last six games and upped the Paladins' home record this season to 9-1.
Saaka, who connected on 11-of-17 field goal attempts and made good on all six of his trips to the charity stripe, netted 17 first half points to help the Paladins forge a 37-29 lead at the break. The Mountaineers trimmed the margin to five points early in the second half before Furman pushed its lead into double digits for good as Justin Dehm and Noah States buried threes on a 10-0 run that put the Paladins in front 54-39 with 12:02 remaining.
States totaled 19 points on 5-of-6 shooting from three-point range and pulled down a game-high nine rebounds while fellow senior Darryl Evans registered 11 points to go with four assists. Saaka added five rebounds and three assists to his season-high 31 points. Redshirt freshman Charlie Reddick followed his career-high tying six points on Thursday with seven points and four boards against Appalachian.
Furman shot 48% from the floor and posted its second best percentage of the season from long range burying 12-of-22 (54.5%) treys. The Paladins managed a 39-25 rebounding edge leading to 22 second-chance points.
Omar Carter led the Mountaineers with 25 points and six rebounds. He was joined in double figures by Andre Williamson and Donald Sims with 12 points apiece. Appalachian State shot just 38.8% from the field and made only 5-of-16 three-point attempts in losing their fourth straight game.
Furman returns to action this coming Thursday when it opens a two-game road trip to Charleston, S.C., with a 7:05 p.m. battle at The Citadel. The Paladins remain in the lowcountry to face College of Charleston on Saturday, February 5, in a game that will be televised live on CSS beginning at 4 p.m.
Paladin fans can follow all of the action versus the Bulldogs and Cougars with the "Voice of the Paladins" Chuck Hussion on the Furman Sports Network at WGOG-FM 96.3 and WOLT-FM 103.3. Furman basketball can also be heard through Stretch Audio at www.furmanpaladins.com.