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Furman Opens Final Road Trip Of The Regular Season At Western Carolina On Friday

Devin Sibley and the Furman men's basketball team visit Western Carolina on Friday at 7 p.m.
Devin Sibley

Furman at Western Carolina Game Notes

Greenville, S.C. -- The Furman men's basketball team will look to claim its fifth consecutive win and maintain a hold on third place in the Southern Conference standings when it opens its final road trip of the regular season with a 7 p.m. contest at Western Carolina on Friday.

The Paladins (20-9, 11-5) secured back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 1980 with a 76-54 victory over VMI in the home finale on Tuesday evening at Timmons Arena. Furman's senior class, the Paladins' most successful in more than 25 years, was honored before tip-off. Geoff Beans, John Davis III, Daniel Fowler and Devin Sibley have led Furman to a 73-59 four-year record, including a 62-37 mark over the past three seasons. Last season, they guided the Paladins to their first SoCon regular season crown since 1991 and back-to-back postseason bids for the first time in more than 35 years.

Furman fashioned a 16-game SoCon home winning streak over two seasons and won 10 straight SoCon games during the 2016-17 season. This year, the Paladins have already clinched a third consecutive winning season for Furman for the first time in more than 10 years. Their 62 wins over the last three seasons rank as the most by a Furman team since the Paladins recorded a school-record 64 wins from 1973-75. This year's senior class has already won more games than any group of Furman seniors since the Class of 1980 notched a school-record 80 wins over four years.

A win on Friday, coupled with an ETSU victory over Wofford on Friday night, would clinch a third place finish for Furman in the SoCon standings and a No. 3 seed at the SoCon Men's Basketball Championship, which is set for March 2-5, at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, N.C. Friday's contest will mark the 72nd meeting between Furman and Western Carolina with the Paladins holding a 42-29 series lead. The Paladins have won the last three meetings, including a 100-66 decision at Timmons Arena on January 27, behind 23 points from Sibley and 18 points from Davis. Furman is just 14-19 in games played in Cullowhee, N.C., but snapped a three-game road losing streak versus the Catamounts with a 74-62 verdict at the Ramsey Center last season.

The Paladins conclude the regular season with a trip to Johnson City, Tenn., to face ETSU on Sunday at 2 p.m. Both Friday and Sunday's games will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. Fans can listen to the broadcast on FoxSports 1440AM, thru the TuneIn Radio App and on StretchAudio at FurmanPaladins.com.