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Seniors Drive Furman Past ETSU, 91-61; Paladins Clinch Third Consecutive 20-Win Season

Alex Hunter
Alex Hunter

Greenville, S.C. -- Matt Rafferty led five Paladins in double figures with 19 points and fellow senior Andrew Brown poured in a season-high 17 points to help Furman past ETSU, 91-61, in Southern Conference men's basketball action before a sellout crowd Saturday afternoon at Timmons Arena.

The win improved the Paladins to 20-5 overall and 9-4 in the SoCon, while ETSU slipped to 19-7 overall and 9-4 in league play. With the victory, Furman notched its 12th 20-win season and secured three consecutive 20-win campaigns for the first time since 1973-75. The Paladins reached 20 wins in 25 games, which tied the 1952-53 squad as the fastest to 20 victories.

Trailing 17-15 with under 12 minutes to go in the first half, Furman used a 20-5 run to take control of the game. Brown, who connected on all five of his three-point attempts on the afternoon, drained three triples during the run, including back-to-back treys to extend the Paladin advantage to 35-22 with 4:26 remaining in the half.

After ETSU trimmed the lead to 49-43 early in the second half, Brown buried back-to-back threes again to ignited a game-ending 41-18 run over the final 14:30 to register the largest margin of victory for the Paladins in 59 series meetings versus ETSU.

The Paladins shot a season-high 64% from the field and connected on a season-best 66.7% (12-18) of their three-point attempts. Furman totaled 27 points off of 16 ETSU turnovers and managed a 38-36 edge in points in the paint.

Rafferty went 6-for-9 from the field and converted on all six of his free throw attempts to pace the Paladins, while Brown went 6-for-6 from the field, including 5-of-5 behind the arc. With three steals versus ETSU, Rafferty became Furman's single season steals leader with 67 thefts. Clay Mounce added 15 points, Jordan Lyons scored 14 points and point guard Alex Hunter posted 11 points and five assists without committing a turnover.

The Bucs shot 47.1%, but made good on just 2-of-14 three-point tries. Jeromy Rodriguez paced ETSU with 21 points and Trey Boyd added 13 on 5-of-11 shooting.

Furman continues its four-game homestand when it entertains UNCG on Thursday, February 14, at 7:30 p.m. before welcoming VMI to Timmons Arena on February 16, at 4 p.m. Tickets for both Thursday night and Saturday's games are still available and can be purchased online at FurmanPaladins.com or at the Timmons Arena Box Office.