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Fowler’s Jumper Lifts Furman Over Mercer, 70-68

Daniel Fowler
Daniel Fowler

Macon, Ga. -- Daniel Fowler poured in a team-high 18 points, including the game-winning jumper with 2.3 seconds remaining, to rally Furman to a 70-68 victory over Mercer on Thursday night at Hawkins Arena in Macon, Ga.

With its fifth straight win, Furman improved to 15-8 overall and maintained a share of first place in the Southern Conference standings at 8-2. The Bears fell to 11-13 overall and 5-6 in league play.

After Mercer's Jordan Strawberry converted on a game-tying free throw with 11.8 seconds left, Fowler penetrated down the lane and rattled in a pull-up jumper from the left side of the paint to put Furman in front. Mercer inbounded the ball to midcourt and called timeout with 1.8 seconds left. Following a timeout by Furman, Ria'n Holland caught the inbounds pass and fired a fade away three-pointer from the right wing that came up short as time expired to give the Paladins their first win in Macon since the 1997-98 season.

Mercer led by nine points at 52-43 with under 12 minuted remaining, but the Furman defense held the Bears without a field goal for over six minutes and the Paladins connected on three triples to trim the deficit to 57-54 on Devin Sibley's trifecta with 6:39 left. The Bears pushed their lead back to six points before Daniel Fowler scored in the paint and converted a three-point play opportunity on the next Paladin possession to cut the Mercer lead to 62-61 with under four minutes to play.

Furman took the lead with 2:11 left on Jordan Lyons' trey and Kris Acox answered a Mercer basket with a layup to give the Paladins a 68-66 advantage with 1:36 left. The Bears connected on 1-of-2 free throw attempts on their next possession and Furman missed on the front end of one-and-one opportunities on its next two possessions to give Mercer a chance to take the lead. Strawberry, however, hit just 1-of-2 free throws following a foul by Andrew Brown and Fowler broke the tie with the winning shot.

Fowler made good on 7-of-11 shots and dished out five assists to go with his 18 points, while Sibley scored 15 points. Lyons drained 4-of-8 three-point attempts to score 12 points and Acox added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Furman shot 53.3% from the field, including 12-for-20 in the second half. The Paladins hit on 12-of-26 three-point attempts and 10-of-16 trips to the charity stripe.

Holland paced Mercer with 18 points, while Strawberry scored 11. The Bears managed a 32-24 rebounding edge, but Furman held Mercer to just 37.7% shooting from the floor. Mercer's 19-for-22 effort at the foul line kept the Bears close.

Furman goes for its third consecutive road win and sixth straight win overall when it faces The Citadel at 1 p.m. on Saturday in Charleston, S.C.. The game will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. The audio broadcast will be available locally on FoxSports 1440AM and worldwide by using the TuneIn Radio app. Links for the video stream, audio stream and live statistics can be found at FurmanPaladins.com.



Jordan Caskey, Furman Sports Information