BIRMINGHAM, ALA. -- Le'Jzae Davidson scored 17 points to lead a hot shooting, balanced Furman attack that overwhelmed Samford, 74-41, in the Southern Conference women's regular season finale for both teams Saturday afternoon at the Pete Hanna Center.
The victory, which completed the season sweep by Furman (17-12, 9-5 SoCon) over Samford (10-19, 5-9 SoCon), secured the Paladins the No. 2 seed and a 3:30 p.m. SoCon Tournament first round matchup against the No. 7 seed Bulldogs next Thursday at Asheville's U.S. Cellular Center.
The winner of the Furman-Samford clash will play the winner of the Chattanooga vs. UNCG on Friday at 1:15 p.m. in a tournament semifinal round matchup.
Furman's second place regular season finish its its highest since the 2013-14 season and matches the highest finish under head coach Jackie Carson, who is in her ninth year at the helm. The Paladins were a preseason No. 3 pick in a poll of league head coaches.
Saturday's triumph over Samford was fueled by Furman's second best shooting effort of the season as the Paladins made 30-of-54 shots (54.5 percent), topped only by a 63.0 percent performance in a 78-67 win over USC Upstate on Nov. 17. The Paladins made 7-of-12 3-pointers with Davidson canning 5-of-7 treys.
Furman trailed 12-10 after one quarter but took command in the second period behind Celena Taborn, who registered 10 of her 14 points to help the Paladins outscore Samford 23-9 and take a 33-21 lead into intermission.
The Paladins blew the contest open in the third quarter on the strength of three Davidson 3-pointers that sparked a 19-6 run over the first six minutes. Davidson's last of three treys at the 3:59 mark capped the bolt and put Furman in command, 52-27.
As it did in a 57-36 win over Samford in Greenville on Jan. 31, Furman had its way on the boards against the Bulldogs, posting a 40-24 advantage with redshirt sophomore forward Tierra Hodges leading the way with eight caroms, to go along with her 15 points.
All 15 Paladins in uniform saw action in the contest.
Samford made just 14 of 45 shots (31.4 percent).
Hunter Reid, Sports Information