Greenville, S.C. -- Sophomore Clay Mounce delivered a one-handed slam with 1.6 seconds left to power Furman to a 60-58 victory over 2018 NCAA Final Four participant Loyola Friday night at Gentile Arena in Chicago, Ill.
The victory improved the Paladins to 2-0 and snapped the Ramblers' eight-game home winning streak.
Senior Matt Rafferty, a native of Hinsdale, Ill., paced the Paladins with 18 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while junior Jordan Lyons added 15 points. Freshman Noah Gurley chipped in with 11 points and six boards.
"I can't say enough about our team's will," said Paladin head coach Bob Richey. "We never quit tonight and kept our poise down the stretch. It's a big win for our program, and we'll enjoy it tonight before getting back to work preparing for Tuesday night's game."
Trailing 42-29 with under 13 minutes to play, Furman reeled off 10 straight points to trim the margin to three with 10 minutes remaining. Loyola extended its advantage back to seven points, but Gurley banked in a three with 5:07 to play and Lyons converted on three trips to the foul line with 3:43 remaining to cut the deficit to 49-48.
Following a Rambler layup, Lyons drained another trey to knot the game at 51-51. Three free throws over Loyola's next two possessions gave the Ramblers a 54-51 advantage, but Rafferty answered for the Paladins with a basket in the paint, stole a pass in the frontcourt and then converted on a three-point play with 55 seconds left to put Furman ahead 56-54. Loyola tied the game on a pair of Marques Townes free throws with 47.7 seconds left before Rafferty drew a two-shot foul and connected on both trips to the charity stripe to give the Paladins a 58-56 lead with 31 seconds to go.
After Clayton Custer scored on a driving layup with 23 seconds on the clock, Loyola called its final timeout. Lyons dribbled into the frontcourt and got the ball to Rafferty at the top of the key. With the clock winding down, the forward found Mounce cutting inside from the left wing and the Elkin, N.C., native finished with a one-handed slam over a Rambler defender. Loyola's desperation shot from half court drifted wide as time expired.
The Paladins shot 38.2% (21-55) from the floor and made good on 12-of-17 trips to the foul line. Furman held the Ramblers to just 37% shooting, including a 3-for-20 effort from three-point range. The Ramblers managed a 37-36 edge on the glass.
Furman allowed just three fields goals to the Ramblers in their first 20 shots as the Paladins raced out to a 23-8 first half lead. Loyola answered with a 20-0 run to grab the lead and carried a 28-27 advantage into the locker room. The Ramblers pushed their lead to as many as 13 before Furman rallied to claim their first victory against a school coming off of a NCAA Final Four appearance since upsetting 1977 national runner-up North Carolina on February 3, 1978, in Charlotte, N.C.
Custer, the 2018 MVC Player of the Year, paced Loyola (1-1) with 19 points.
Furman returns to Timmons Arena to host Gardner-Webb on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Tickets are available online at FurmanPaladins.com or at the Timmons Arena Box Office.