Greensboro, N.C. – Mike Bothwell scored a game high 20 points to lead three Paladins in double figures Wednesday evening as the Furman men’s basketball team held on for a 58-54 victory over the UNC Greensboro Spartans from the Greensboro Coliseum.
Furman improves to 10-6 overall and 2-1 in the SoCon, while UNC Greensboro drops to 8-5 on the season and 0-1 in conference play.
Bothwell totaled his game high 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting while contributing three assists, two rebounds and two steals. Alex Hunter connected on five 3-pointers and finished with 16 points and logged three steals. Marcus Foster poured in 13 points, highlighted by four 3-pointers, and eight rebounds. Jalen Slawson registered nine points, three assists, three blocks and two steals.
De’Monte Buckingham led the Spartans with 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting to go with seven rebounds. Mohammed Abdulsalam provided 11 points and nine rebounds, and Kobe Langley 10 points and four assists.
Foster led the Paladins in the second half with 10 points and four rebounds while shooting 3-of-4 from the field, including a 3-for-3 mark behind the 3-point line.
UNC Greensboro had cut Furman’s lead down to 46-45 with 7:49 remaining in the contest before Bothwell responded the following possession with a 3-pointer to extend its lead out to 49-45. The Spartans managed to cut their deficit back down to two points twice over a stretch of four minutes with the last coming at 54-52 at the 1:01 mark. Slawson used a turnaround jumper with 31 seconds left to push the Paladins’ lead back to four, 56-52.
Following a UNCG layup, Bothwell made two free throws with 11 seconds remaining to seal the four-point win for Furman.
The Paladins opened the game scoring seven consecutive points over the first 3:07 to hold a 7-0 advantage capped by Slawson’s driving layup. UNC Greensboro answered with an 11-3 run over the next 3:32 and took its first lead of the game at 11-10 with 13:21 to go. Hunter and Bothwell combined to score six straight points for Furman to give it the lead back at 16-11 with 11:58 remaining after a 3-point play from Bothwell.
The Paladins would lead by as many as six points the remainder of the half. Furman recorded five consecutive points following a Spartan field goal and would lead 21-15 at the 9:02 mark on Hunter’s 3-pointer.
Trailing 24-19 with 7:43 left, UNCG used a 9-3 run during a stretch of 6:01 to take the lead back at 28-27. Foster closed out the scoring with a 3-pointer at the 1:12 mark to give the Paladins a 30-28 lead. Neither team scored over the final 1:11 of the opening half.
Hunter (12) and Bothwell (11) combined to score 23 of Furman’s 30 points in the first half on 8-of-15 shooting including five 3-pointers.
The Paladins concluded the game shooting 40.0 percent (20-of-50) from the field and made 12 3-pointers. Furman limited UNC Greensboro to just five 3-pointers in the contest.
The Paladins return to Greenville on Saturday, January 8 when they host Mercer at 4 p.m. in their first of three games this season from Bon Secours Wellness Arena.