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Furman Edges Western Carolina In Double Overtime Thriller To Remain Unbeaten, 90-88

Jordan Lyons
Jordan Lyons

Greenville, S.C. -- Junior Jordan Lyons tallied a game-high 29 points and senior Matt Rafferty added 21 points and 15 rebounds as Furman outlasted Western Carolina, 90-88, in double overtime in the Southern Conference opener for both schools Saturday afternoon at Timmons Arena.

With its 15th win in its last 16 games, Furman improved to 8-0 on the season and 1-0 in the SoCon. The Catamounts slipped to 2-7 overall and 0-1 in league play. The Paladins, ranked No. 4 in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25, claimed their first double overtime win since an 89-81 victory at The Citadel on February 16, 1991.

In a contest that featured 17 lead changes and 16 ties, Furman grabbed the lead for good with 2:57 left in double overtime on a basket in the paint from Tre Clark. The Paladin defense then denied the Catamounts on three straight possessions while Alex Hunter connected on 1-of-2 free throws, Rafferty scored on a layup off of a Lyons assist and Clay Mounce drained two free throws with 33 seconds left to increase the Furman advantage to 89-82.

A basket by Carlos Dotson, steal in the backcourt and D.J. Myers layup trimmed the Paladin lead to 89-86, but Hunter hit 1-of-2 free throws to put the game away with 8.8 seconds remaining.

Lyons connected on 6-of-17 three-point attempts to net his 29 points and Rafferty added four blocked shots and three steals to go with his 21 points and 15 boards. Mounce finished with 17 points and a career-best 13 rebounds for his first career double-double, while Hunter notched his first career double-double with 11 points and a career-high 10 assists.

The Paladins shot 53.8% from the field and managed a 53-45 rebounding edge. Western Carolina converted on 10-of-37 attempts from beyond the arc, but the Catamounts made just 2-of-20 triples after halftime. Furman outscored WCU 50-42 in the paint and 19-13 on second chance points, while the Catamounts turned 15 Paladin turnovers into 20 points.

Dotson led Western Carolina with 27 points and 14 rebounds. Kameron Gibson netted 17 points and Marc Gosselin and Onno Steger rounded out the Catamounts double figure scorers with 16 and 14 points, respectively.

Western Carolina took a 66-62 lead with 38 seconds left in regulation before Hunter made two free throw attempts with under 30 seconds left. Steger was fouled on the inbounds pass and converted on 1-of-2 attempts at the charity stripe to up the Catamount lead to 67-64. On Furman's last possession, Hunter found Lyons at the top of the key and the Peachtree City, Ga., product buried a triple to tie the game with 22 seconds to go. After a timeout, WCU's Matt Halvorsen missed a three and Lyons rebounded at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.

In the first overtime period, a driving layup from Hunter and another trey from Lyons staked the Paladins to a 76-71 lead with 2:23 left. Western Carolina answered with a Dotson basket and a three-pointer from Gibson to force the second overtime.

Furman goes for its ninth straight win to start the 2018-19 campaign when it visits Elon on Tuesday. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be streamed live on Stretch Internet. Fans can listen on the Furman IMG Sports Network at FoxSports 1440AM, through Stretch Audio at FurmanPaladins.com and via the TuneIn Radio app.