Furman holds off Mercer, 83-80 for 18th straight home victory

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Greenville, S.C. (Furman SID) – Senior Clay Mounce poured in a career-high 27 points and junior Noah Gurley added a season-best 23 to help Furman past Mercer, 83-80, in Southern Conference men’s basketball action Saturday afternoon at Timmons Arena.

With the victory, Furman extended its winning streak at Timmons to 18 games and improved to 8-3 overall and 2-0 in league play this season. The Bears slipped to 7-3 overall and 0-2 in the SoCon.

The Paladins, who claimed their 11th straight victory against the Bears, built a 76-60 lead with under six minutes to play, but were forced to hold on at the end as Mercer’s Felipe Haase’s last second three-point attempt that would have tied the game glanced off the right side of the rim as time expired.

After a 10-2 Mercer run trimmed the Paladin lead to 78-70, Mike Bothwell scored on a drive to the basket to push the lead to 80-70 with 1:19 left. Ross Cummings finished a three-point play for the Bears on their next possession before James Glisson III rebounded a blocked shot from Mounce and finished with a slam on the other end to slice the margin to 80-75 with 51 seconds to go.

Furman made 3-of-4 free throws over its next two possessions to extend the lead to 83-77 following a pair of makes at the stripe by Mounce with 29 seconds remaining. Haase drew a foul for Mercer and made his first free throw before Glisson rebounded a miss on the second attempt and converted a layup to cut the margin to 83-80 with seven seconds left. Bothwell was fouled on the inbounds and missed the front end of his one-and-one trip to the line, but Haase’s last-chance shot from the right wing came up short.

Mounce connected on 10-of-17 field goal attempts, including 5-of-9 from beyond the arc to lead all scorers with 27 points, while Gurley went 7-for-15 from the floor and 7-of-8 at the foul line to notch his 23 points. Bothwell finished with 15 points, five rebounds, five assists and a career-high six steals for the Paladins.

Furman shot 53.4% from the field, made 10-of-24 shot behind the arc and converted on 11-of-15 trips to the foul line. The Paladins scored 24 points off 19 Mercer turnovers to overcome a 36-24 rebounding deficit and a 42-34 Mercer scoring advantage in the paint.

Cummings paced the Bears with 22 points. Forward Maciej Bender netted 14, James Glisson III scored 13 and Haase finished with 11 for Mercer. The Bears shot 55.6% from the field and 65% (13-20) at the foul line.

Furman is back in action next Saturday at 2 p.m. when it hosts the VMI Keydets in SoCon action at Timmons Arena. The game will be streamed on ESPN+ and fans can listen to the “Voice of the Paladins”, Dan Scott, on ESPN Upstate at 97.7 FM/1330 AM in Greenville, 97.1 FM/ 950 AM in Spartanburg, and thru the Radio.com app.

Furman’s “Weekends at the Well” Series Returns In 2021

Furman basketball returns to downtown Greenville once again during the 2020-21 season with four “Weekends at the Well”! The Paladins host SoCon rival ETSU at Bon Secours Wellness Arena on January 16 before entertaining the Chattanooga Mocs at the Well on January 30. On February 6, Wofford and Furman will stage a rematch of last season’s thrilling showdown at the Well. The final trip to BSW in 2021 takes place on February 13 versus Western Carolina. Get your tickets now for all four “Weekends at the Well”!

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