Macon, Ga. – Marcus Foster netted a career-high 25 points and Furman shot 71% in the first half en route to an 84-66 victory over the Mercer Bears on Wednesday night at Hawkins Arena in Macon, Ga.

The victory marked Furman’s third straight win overall, 16th consecutive versus the Bears, and seventh straight versus Mercer in Macon.  Furman improved to 13-5 overall and 4-1 in the Southern Conference, while Mercer dipped to 7-11 overall and 0-5 in league play.

Foster, a native of Atlanta, Ga., connected on all five of his first half three-point attempts to score 18 of his 25 points in the opening 20 minutes. The Paladins went 20-of-28 from the field, including 8-for-11 beyond the arc, in the opening half to build a 52-32 lead at intermission.

Mercer clawed its way to within 14 points at 67-53 with eight minutes remaining, but Furman answered with a 10-2 spurt to put the game away. Alex Williams, Jalen Slawson, and Ben VanderWal started the run by combining to go 6-for-6 at the foul line before Slawson and Mike Bothwell answered a Mercer basket with driving layups to extend the cushion to 77-55 with 4:30 to play.

Foster finished 7-of-9 from the floor, including 6-for-7 from three-point range, and converted on 5-of-6 trips to the foul line to top 20 points for the second straight outing, following his 21-point outburst at ETSU on Saturday. Bothwell scored 17 points to join Foster in double figures, while Slawson added 15 points, five boards and five assists. 

Furman shot 51.9% from the field, made good on 10-of-16 three-point chances and connected on 18-of-24 trips to the charity stripe for the game. The Paladins committed just seven turnovers on the night and converted 12 Mercer miscues into 15 points.

Shannon Grant went 8-of-9 from the floor to lead four Bears in double figures with 16 points. Jah Quinones and Kamar Robertson netted 12 points apiece, and James Glisson III finished with 10 points for Mercer. The Bears managed a 38-31 rebounding edge but shot just 41.9% from the field and hit on just 3-of-15 three-point tries.