Bothwell Scores in Closing Seconds to Lift Furman Past Wofford, 67-66

College Basketball (NCAAM)
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Greenville, S.C. (Furman SID) – Sophomore Mike Bothwell converted a layup with 12.1 seconds left to put Furman ahead and Nathan Hoover’s last-second three bounced off the rim as the Paladins topped Wofford, 67-66, in front of a crowd of 6,096 Saturday afternoon at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

With the victory, Furman improved to 23-6 overall and 13-3 in the Southern Conference, while Wofford fell to 16-13 overall and 8-8 in league play. The Paladins joined Gonzaga, Kansas and ETSU as the only schools to win at least 23 games in each of the last four seasons.

After Furman took its biggest lead of the game, a 65-61 advantage on Bothwell’s layup with 1:46 left, Wofford’s Storm Murphy hit a pull-up jumper in the lane and connected on a three-pointer with 57 seconds left to give the Terriers a 66-65 lead. On Furman’s final possession, Bothwell missed a shot in the lane, but the rebound went out of bounds to the Paladins. Jordan Lyons’ driving layup missed and a scrambled for the ball resulted in the ball being knocked out of bounds by Wofford again with 20 seconds to go. Bothwell got possession following the inbounds, picked up his dribble on the left block and pivoted before banking in the go-ahead shot with 12.1 to play. Wofford rushed the ball into the front court, but Hoover’s long three missed as time expired.

Sophomore Noah Gurley paced the Paladins with 22 points and seven rebounds. Bothwell scored 18 points and dished out three assists, while Lyons scored 10 points. Jalen Slawson, who delivered two momentum changing dunks in the second half, finished with nine points, five boards and three steals.

After shooting just 32% in the opening 20 minutes, Furman shot 47.1% in the second half to finish at 40.7% for the game. Furman committed just five turnovers and forced 14 miscues to outscore Wofford 20-4 on points off turnovers. The Paladins, who registered 11 steals, also held a 36-26 edge in points in the paint.

The Terriers led 33-26 at the half and stretched their advantage to 11 points on three occasions in the opening four minutes of the second half. Lyons’ three-point play started an 11-0 Furman run that ended on Slawson’s jam with 12:46 left to tie the game at 43-43 before Furman grabbed its first lead of the second half on Gurley’s basket with 3:56 to go.

Murphy led Wofford with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting and added five assists. Hoover and Chevez Goodwin reached double figures with 15 points apiece. The Terriers shot 43.1% from the field, but made just 9-of-32 three-point attempts.

Furman returns to action on Wednesday with a 7 p.m. tip-off at UNCG. The Paladins host The Citadel in the regular season finale next Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at Timmons Arena.

Tickets for Saturday’s game are on sale at the Timmons Arena Box Office and online at FurmanPaladins.com. Current Furman students will have access to free tickets on Furman basketball game days. Click here to learn about the student ticket policy for the 2019-20 season.

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