CULLOWHEE, N.C. (Furman Athletics/WSPA) – Five Paladins reached double figures, led by Noah Gurley’s 17 points, as Furman downed Western Carolina, 75-69, at the Ramsey Regional Activities Center Saturday afternoon.
With its 10th consecutive victory over the Catamounts, Furman improved to 11-5 overall and 5-2 in SoCon play. Western Carolina slipped to 7-9 on the season and 0-7 inside the league.
After the Catamounts opened the game with a three-pointer, Furman reeled off 14 straight points and never trailed again to score its 12th win in the last 13 meetings against WCU. The Paladins led by five points at the half and stretched the advantage to as many as 10 points in the second half. Western Carolina trimmed the lead to 53-50 midway through the period, but a three-point play by Gurley and three-pointers from Alex Hunter on consecutive possessions helped Furman restore a nine-point lead.
The Catamounts trimmed the lead to 71-67 with under 1:30 remaining before Gurley scored from the middle of the lane for the Paladins and Hunter converted on a pair of trips to the foul line after a WCU turnover to help secure the win for Furman.
The Paladins limited Western Carolina to 41.0% shooting from the floor and outscored the Catamounts 42-26 in the paint. Furman shot 53.6%, including 68% (17-25) over the final 20 minutes. The visitors made good on 9-of-21 three-point tries and managed a 33-32 rebounding edge.
Gurley connected on 7-of-12 attempts from the field, including 2-of-3 behind the arc, to total 17 points while Hunter drained 4-of-6 triples to score 16 points to go with his five assists. Mike Bothwell and Clay Mounce added 13 points apiece for Furman. Jalen Slawson rounded out the Paladins’ double-figure scorers with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Corey Hightower paced Western Carolina with 22 points and Mason Faulkner finished with 14.