Greenville, S.C. – Senior Jordan Miller scored 21 points to lead four Paladins in double figures and Furman buried a season-high 15 three-pointers to pull away from Samford, 74-55, in Southern Conference men's basketball action on Thursday evening at Timmons Arena.
The win improved the Paladins to 13-5 overall and 5-2 in the SoCon while Samford slipped to 10-9 overall and 2-5 in league play. Furman's 13-5 record marks its best start since beginning the 1990-91 season with a 14-5 mark on its way to a 20-win campaign and SoCon regular season crown.
Miller, who scored 20 of his game-high 21 in the second half, keyed the decisive run of the game with under 10 minutes to play. Leading 47-46, Furman's Miller buried three-pointers on three of the Paladins' next four possessions to jump start a 15-0 run that upped the margin to 62-46 on Amu Saaka's trey with 6:58 left. The Paladins, 10-of-15 beyond the arc in the second half, did not let the Bulldogs get closer than 12 points the rest of the way while improving to 6-2 all-time versus Samford.
Furman shot 58.3% from the field in the second half and finished at 55.6% (25-45) for the game. The Paladins' 15 treys tied for the third best output beyond the arc in school history and best performance since draining 15 threes in a loss at Chattanooga in 2008.
Miller was 7-of-14 from the floor, including 6-of-10 from three-point range, while adding four rebounds and four assists. Noah States tallied a career-high tying 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting to go with a team-best seven rebounds. Saaka and Darryl Evans each reached double digits with 14 points apiece as the Paladins improved to 12-0 this season when holding the opposition to under 70 points.
Furman limited Samford to just 44% shooting, including 6-of-20 from the three-point line, and outrebounded the Bulldogs 31-17. John Peterson and Gregg Wooten led Samford with 11 points each.
Each team failed to hold a seven-point lead in the first half and the game headed to intermission tied at 30-30. Furman grabbed the lead for good when Miller netted the first of his six second half treys just 29 seconds into the period.
Furman is back in action on Saturday afternoon when it hosts the SoCon North Division Chattanooga Mocs at Timmons Arena. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. immediately following a SoCon women's basketball showdown between Furman and Georgia Southern which is set for a 2 p.m. start.
Paladin fans can follow all of the action versus the Mocs with the "Voice of the Paladins" Chuck Hussion and color commentator Ron Smith 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.
Tickets for Saturday's game are available at the Timmons Arena Box Office and online at www.FurmanPaladins.com. The All-Inclusive Ticket, "IT", costs $12 for a lower level reserved seat and $8 for an upper level general admission seat. The ticket entitles fans to unlimited trips to the Timmons Arena concession stands for hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, popcorn and sodas. The "IT" ticket will be in effect for both the men's and women's games on Saturday.