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Furman Falters Late, Loses To Western Illinois, 85-78

Furman Falters Late, Loses To Western Illinois, 85-78

LAS VEGAS, NEV. -- Olivia Kaufmann scored a game high 26 points and Western Illinois took advantage of several late Furman turnovers to claim an 85-78 victory over the Paladins in Friday afternoon women's basketball action at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic at South Point Arena.

The win halted a four-game losing skid for Western Illinois (4-9) and a three-game winning streak by Furman (7-5).

The Paladins used a Kaitlyn Duncan layup and two free throws from Celena Taborn to take a 73-69 lead with 3:42 remaining; however, after a pair of Western Illinois free throws cut the lead to 73-71, Furman suffered turnovers on back-to-back possessions, which the Leathernecks quickly converted into layups to grab a 75-73 lead.

Petty, who paced Furman with 17 points, tied it with two free throws at the 1:42 mark, but Avery Ham answered with a 3-pointer to put Western Illinois ahead for good, 78-75.

Trailing 81-78 with 14 seconds remaining, the Paladins let their final chance to tie the game slip away when Milica Manojlovic's sideline pass went out of bounds, giving the Leathernecks the ball.

Western Illinois, which entered the game shooting just under 38 percent from the field on the season, shot over and dribbled around Furman's defense, converting 27-of-55 field goal attempts (49.1%), including 10-of-27 from 3-point range.  The Leathernecks made the Paladins pay dearly for 23 turnovers, posting a 35-20 scoring differential off the miscues.

WIU also cashed in at the free throw line, going 21-of-27 at the stripe on the strength of a 28-18 whistle advantage.

The Paladins' placed five players in double figures for the first time this season.  Following Petty's 17 points were Taborn with 14, Jade Kirisome with a season high 13, Duncan 12, and Le'Jzae Davidson with 10.

Furman shot 46.3 percent from the field (31x67) and registered a 40-30 rebounding advantage.