Murfreesboro, Tenn. – Furman shot a season-high 53% from the field and led wire-to-wire in a 76-61 victory over Middle Tennessee State on Sunday afternoon at the Murphy Center in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
The win marked Furman's third consecutive triumph and third road win of the season as the Paladins improved to 6-2 overall. The Blue Raiders, who claimed a share of the 2009-10 Sun Belt Conference title, slipped to 3-4.
A 17-3 run in the opening eight minutes of the game helped Furman fashion a 21-6 lead with 11:21 left in the first half and the Paladins never let Middle Tennessee State get closer than 12 points in the first ever meeting between the schools. Jordan Miller and Justin Dehm buried three-pointers during the run and Amu Saaka converted a three-point play at the foul line to key the early run.
The Paladins connected on 16-of-28 (57.1%) first half shots and outrebounded the Blue Raiders 26-9 over the opening 20 minutes to carry a 42-27 advantage into the locker room. Furman finished 26-of-49 from the floor and made 12-of-16 free throws in the second half to secure the victory.
Noah States netted 18 points on 4-for-6 shooting beyond the arc to lead four Paladins in double figures. Seniors Amu Saaka and Jordan Miller scored 14 and 12 points, respectively, while Colin Reddick contributed 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds in just 15 minutes of action. Darryl Evans added nine points and five assists for the Paladins who made 7-of-14 three-point attempts and totaled 28 second-chance points on the strength of 16 offensive rebounds.
Furman managed a 40-28 rebounding edge on the night and outscored the Blue Raiders 24-22 in the paint.
JT Sulton scored a team-high 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting for MTSU, but Furman shutout the forward over the final 20 minutes. James Gallman and Shawn Jones added 13 points apiece for the Blue Raiders who shot just 34.6% (18-52) from the field. Furman held MTSU's leading scorer James Washington to just seven points, all in the second half.
The Paladins wrap up their three-game road trip next Saturday when they travel to face the University of North Florida. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. Furman returns home to host South Carolina on December 22, at Timmons Arena.