GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA/Wofford Athletics) – Senior Storm Murphy paced Wofford with 24 points as the Terriers defeated the Furman Paladins 75-67 Saturday night.
Furman held a 32-27 halftime lead, but the Terriers outscored the Paladins 48-35 in the second half resulting in the eight-point win.
“We made some things difficult throughout the game, and credit to them. They’re a heck of a team,” said head coach Jay McAuley of the Paladins. “Obviously, they do some things to disrupt you … We had some messages to our team throughout – that everyone stayed together. Couldn’t be more proud of the leadership of Storm [Murphy].”
The Terriers spoiled Furman’s home win streak, as Furman’s last regular season loss at Timmons Arena prior to beginning the streak also came at the hands of Wofford in a 72-64 loss on Feb. 23, 2019.
Additionally, Wofford remains undefeated in Saturday SoCon contests, compiling a 6-0 record when playing on the weekend and 5-1 overall record on the road through conference play.
Senior Storm Murphy led all scorers in double figures with a game-high 24 points on 9-of-13 shots from the floor, including four threes (4-for-7), six assists, four rebounds and two steals in a game-high 38 minutes.
“Tray [Hollowell] didn’t have his best effort, but what’d he do? He was a senior at the end of the day and stepped up and made some shots,” added McAuley of the team’s contributions. “Felt Morgan Safford all game long on the glass. We needed that collective effort … To hold them to 40 percent, to do what we did on the glass to them. They did what we asked them to do.”
Senior Tray Hollowell finished with 11 points on 3-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc to go with three rebounds and three assists, while freshman Sam Godwin finished with 11 points and four rebounds for his second consecutive game scoring double-digits.
Safford recorded eight points and six rebounds, while junior Ryan Larson and sophomore Messiah Jones both finished with six points apiece. Larson also grabbed six rebounds to go with four assists and two steals, while Jones pulled down five rebounds on the night.
The Paladins opened the contest with the edge in momentum after a Clay Mounce 3-pointer and dunk from Noah Gurley fueled a 7-0 run that extended a 15-7 Furman lead.
The Terriers responded notching 11 of the ensuing 14 points, as a Murphy corner three and put-back layup for Jones cut the margin to one, 19-18 (9:18). Mounce would connect on another three, though, Murphy answered with a layup prior to finding Austin Patterson for a corner trey that claimed the lead for Wofford, 23-22 (7:05).
Back-to-back treys from Mounce and Furman’s Alex Hunter followed, though free throws from Godwin and a Safford three-ball cut the margin to two, 29-27, by the 3:04 mark. Hunter then would answer with another three, as both teams held each other scoreless for the remaining two minutes to see Furman hold a 32-27 edge heading into the break.
Tray Hollowell splashed a 3-pointer to open the scoring in the second half, as Sam Godwin would finish a feed from Larson to make for a two-point game through the opening minutes, 34-32. The Paladins kept finding the answer to suppress Wofford’s momentum, however, using an 8-0 run to push the margin to 40-32.
An Austin Patterson finish in the paint and dunk from Godwin produced a four-point spread (42-38), though, the Paladins found another timely 7-0 run that brought about Furman’s largest lead of the contest, 49-40, with 10:51 to play.
“I think the message was – come together all the more. From the tip to the last finish of the game, that last horn, we want to be continually possession after possession coming together as a team,” said Murphy of the team’s response down 49-40. “Noticing what mistakes we’re making in the game. Noticing what things they’re getting easy, and I think at that moment we really dialed in on what we needed to take away and what we were going to get on offense and it practically came together.”
Furman built up a 54-47 advantage, though, the tables would turn as Murphy would takeover, scoring 11 of the next 13 points in capping the personal run off with his fourth three of the night to claim a 58-56 advantage by the 5:13 mark.
A Larson finish, followed by an alley-oop from Larson to Sam Godwin, then pushed a six-point spurt before Tray Hollowell buried a timely 3-pointer off the find from Murphy to push the Terriers’ largest lead of the contest with 1:39 to play, 67-58.
Furman competed to the very end, answering with a Hunter three prior to Murphy beating a late-game full court press with a wide-open Sam Godwin dunk on the other end and a Larson free throw holding the nine-point edge (70-61) with 24 seconds remaining. Another Furman triple ensued, though, the Terriers would hold Furman off at the free-throw line to come away with the 75-67 win at the end of regulation.
Wofford was 54.8 percent from the floor (17-of-31) and 42.9 percent from 3-point range (6-of-14) in the second half, digging in defensively for the final 10 minutes to hold the Paladins to 40.6 percent from the floor (26-for-64) and 30 percent from beyond the arc for the contest (12-of-40).
Wofford outscored Furman in points inside the paint (32-26), second-chance points (14-0) and bench points (20-13), while the Paladins escaped with a 36-35 edge in rebounds.
Wofford held Furman’s leading scorer Mike Bothwell, who averaged 18.0 points heading into the contest, to just two points, as Clay Mounce led the way with a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds, followed by Alex Hunter (15) and Noah Gurley (12).
“I’m so proud of this team for realizing that and coming together … [giving] full effort the whole time,” said Murphy. “We want to be the hardest playing team in the conference and I think today we were.”
Up next for Wofford is a home game against UTC on February 10. Furman will next take on UNCG at home on February 8.