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Taborn, Furman Smother Western Carolina, 53-28

Taborn, Furman Smother Western Carolina, 53-28

CULLOWHEE, N.C. -- Celena Taborn scored 16 points and claimed 15 rebounds, and Furman used solid defense to help smother Western Carolina, 53-28, in Southern Conference women's basketball action Thursday afternoon the Ramsey Center.

The victory, which opened the second half of the SoCon season for Furman (13-10, 5-3 SoCon), marked the Paladins' sixth win in the last seven clashes with Western Carolina (0-18, 0-8 SoCon), and the 28 points allowed represented the lowest tally by a SoCon foe in Furman program history and lowest total by an opponent since Furman beat Presbyterian, 69-28, during the 1977-78 season.

The 6-foot-3 Taborn, who contributed a combined seven points and eight rebounds in Furman's two previous, had her way against Western Carolina, connecting on 8-of-12 shots while grabbing eight offensive rebounds and seven defensive caroms in 29 minutes of action.

Taylor Petty also bounced back from a recent rough stretch with a 12-point effort, finding the mark on 5-of-9 shots and a pair of free throws in just 17 minutes of play.

The Paladins trailed 12-6 with just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter before taking control, fashioning a 17-0 run to go up 23-12 on Petty layup at the 4:00 mark of the second period following a Kaitlyn Duncan steal.

Held scoreless over the final 3:18 of the first period, Western Carolina didn't halt the run and its over 10-minute scoring drought until Jewel Smalls converted a layup with 3:04 remaining in the first half.

Furman put the game ice with a 9-0 burst to open the second half and limited the Catamounts to just 11 points over the game's final 20 minutes.

For the game WCU shot 17.9 percent from the field, finding the mark on just 9-of-52 shots.

The Paladins, meanwhile, connected on 24-of-63 shots from the field (38.1 percent) and fashioned a 48-37 rebounding advantage.

All 15 players in uniform saw action for Furman, which plays game two of its road swing Saturday at UNCG, with tipoff at Fleming Gymnasium set for 4:00 p.m.