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Paladins Fall In Overtime At Samford, 62-58

Furman senior forward Cierra Carter
Cierra Carter

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. -- Hannah Nichols scored 15 points, including seven in overtime, to help Samford top Furman, 62-58, in Southern Conference women's basketball play Saturday afternoon at the Pete Hanna Center.

Nichols forced overtime with a 3-pointer from the right wing with 40 seconds to go in regulation to knot the game at 49-49, and in the extra period put Samford (12-12, 4-5 SoCon) ahead for good, converting a layup following an offensive rebound with 33 seconds on the clock to give the Bulldogs a 58-56 lead.  The senior guard added a pair of free throws with 14 seconds for the game's winning points.

Nichols' strong play down the stretch allowed the Bulldogs to escape a powerful second half rally by Furman (13-11, 3-6 SoCon), which rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit by outscoring Samford 19-4 in the third period to take a 40-35 lead following a Cierra Carter basket just before the quarter ended.

The Paladins maintained their advantage for over nine minutes in the fourth quarter, leading by as many as seven at 45-38 following a Stephania Oramas 3-pointer with 4:35 to go.

Samford pulled to within 45-44 on with a pair of 3-pointers, but baskets by Celena Taborn and Le'Jzae Davidson gave Furman a 49-44 lead with two minutes remaining.  The Paladins, however, were held scoreless the for the rest of the period, suffering a pair of turnovers and a missed shot over their final three possessions, which allowed the Bulldogs to tally the final five points, including Nichols' game-tying trey with 40 seconds left in regulation.

With the score tied 56-56 in overtime, Nichols missed a pair of free throws in the closing minute, but Makaila Woolard collected the offensive rebound to set up Nichols' go-ahead layup with 33 seconds remaining.

Carter, who canned 8-of-15 shots, had 14 of her game high 19 points in the second half to headline Furman's attack, which produced 50.0 percent shooting (11x22 FGs) over the game's final 25 minutes.   Led by DeAnneisha Jackson's game high 14 rebounds, the Paladins posted a 39-25 advantage on the glass but suffered 17 turnovers after registering just nine miscues in the season's first meeting in Greenville, a 45-41 Furman victory.

Le'Jzae Davidson finished with 15 points, converting 6-of-12 shots and 3-of-8 3-pointers.

The Paladins play host to UNCG next Thursday at Timmons Arena in a 7:00 p.m. contest.