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Lyons, Mounce Shoot Furman Past Mercer, 74-63

Jordan Lyons
Jordan Lyons

Macon, Ga. -- Junior Jordan Lyons poured in a game-high 24 points and Clay Mounce added 16 to propel Furman to its seventh straight victory over Mercer, a 74-63 decision, Saturday afternoon at Hawkins Arena in Macon, Ga.

The win improved the Paladins to 18-5 overall and 7-4 in the Southern Conference. Mercer slipped to 8-15 overall and 3-8 in league play.

Furman shot a season-high 57.8% from the field and connected on 12-of-24 shots from beyond the arc to move to 8-4 on the road this season.

The Paladins hit seven first half triples to build a 31-16 advantage early and carry a 34-27 lead into halftime. Mercer trimmed the Paladin lead to three points on a pair of occasions in the second half and trailed by five points at 52-47 with under 11 minutes remaining.

Furman answered with a pair of baskets at the rim from Noah Gurley and Matt Rafferty before Andrew Brown's triple gave the Paladins a 59-49 lead with 8:02 left. After a Mounce layup, Lyons netted five straight points to extend the Paladin spurt to a 14-2 run that gave Furman a 66-49 lead on the Peachtree City, Ga. native's three-pointer with 4:46 to go.

Mercer got no closer than 10 points the rest of the way as the Paladins limited the Bears to 34.8% shooting, including 5-for-24 from three-point range.

Lyons hit 10-of-17 shots, including 4-of-10 from three-point territory, while Mounce connected on 4-of-5 triples. Rafferty battled through foul trouble to add 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

Ross Cummings led Mercer with 16 points, but the Paladins held him to only two points over the final 20 minutes.

Furman returns to action on Thursday when it faces Western Carolina at 7 p.m. in Cullowhee, N.C. The Paladins host ETSU on Saturday, February 9, at Timmons Arena.