Greenville, S.C. – Senior Amu Saaka poured in a season-high 30 points to lift Furman over Chattanooga, 85-59, in Southern Conference men's basketball action before a crowd of 2,646 on Saturday afternoon at Timmons Arena.
By leading wire-to-wire to defeat the Mocs, Furman improved to 14-5 overall and 6-2 in the SoCon while moving to 8-1 at Timmons Arena this season. Chattanooga slipped to 11-10 overall and 7-2 in league play. The 26-point margin of victory represented the largest ever for the Paladins against the Mocs topping an 86-68 triumph in 1979.
Noah States scored Furman's first seven points to hand the Paladins an early 7-2 advantage and Saaka tallied five points during a 7-0 run midway through the first half to open up a 14-point cushion. Darryl Evans and Justin Dehm buried back-to-back threes late in the half to help Furman carry a 37-21 lead into intermission.
Furman built onto its lead early in the second half using an 8-0 run to push the lead out to 51-28 on a three-point play by Jordan Miller with 16:47 to play and the Paladins did not allow the Mocs to get closer than 17 points the rest of the game.
Saaka connected on 11-of-14 field goal attempts, including 5-of-7 beyond the arc, to lead Furman with 30 points and eight rebounds. Colin Reddick, 4-of-5 from the field, added 10 points and eight boards while States totaled nine points. Dehm added eight points and buried two treys to tie Anthony Thomas for second on Furman's career three-point list with 199 long range makes in his career.
The Paladins shot 49% from the floor and buried 13-of-31 three-point attempts to help overcome Chattanooga's 42-39 rebounding edge. The Paladins committed just nine turnovers and limited the Mocs to just 33.9% shooting, including a 3-for-22 effort from three-point range. Coupled with its 13-of-26 effort at Georgia Southern and 15-of-24 night against Samford, Furman has made good on 41-of-81 three-point attempts over its last three games.
Jeremy Saffore led Chattanooga with 11 points and DeAntre Jefferson added 10 points and eight boards.
Furman returns to action Monday when it travels to Spartanburg, S.C., to face Wofford in a key SoCon South Division showdown. Tip-off at Benjamin Johnson Arena is set for 7 p.m.
Paladin fans can follow all of the action versus the Terriers 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.