Johnson City, Tenn. (Furman SID) – Redshirt-junior Marcus Foster poured in 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to pace Furman to a 70-56 victory over East Tennessee State in Southern Conference men’s basketball action Saturday afternoon at Freedom Hall in Johnson City, Tenn.
The Paladins, who improved to 12-5 overall and 3-1 in league play, held the Buccaneers to just 33.3% shooting from the field and 14.3% from three-point range. Both shooting totals marked season-lows for a Paladin opponent. Furman’s 14-point margin of victory marked its second largest ever versus the Bucs in Johnson City, trailing only a 78-54 triumph during the 1984-85 campaign.
Foster connected on four triples to score 18 of his game-high 21 points in the first half and the Paladins used a pair of 14-2 runs to build a 37-23 halftime advantage. After ETSU hit its first shot of the second half, Furman’s defense held the Bucs without a field goal for over eight minutes to push the lead beyond 20 points. ETSU clawed its way to within 58-45 on a pair of free throws from Jordan King with 6:11 remaining, but Furman’s JP Pegues drained a three-pointer of the Paladins’ next possession to start an 8-2 run that sealed the verdict.
Foster’s double-double marked his first of the season ad third of his career. Jalen Slawson scored 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting and added seven rebounds, while Mike Bothwell connected on 5-of-6 free throw attempts to finish with 13 points. The victory marked the 100th career win at Furman for both Bothwell and Slawson.
Furman shot 41.7%, made good on 11-of-34 three-point tries, and 9-of-10 trips to the foul line. Despite being out-rebounded 42-35, the Paladins secured 10 offensive rebounds to score 17 second-chance points.
Deanthony Tipler led ETSU (6-11, 2-2 SoCon) with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Jalen Haynes and Justice Smith contributed 13 and 10 points, respectively. The Bucs made 13-of-16 at the foul line but finished just 3-for-21 behind the three-point line.
Furman travels to Macon, Ga., to face Mercer on Wednesday at 7 p.m. before hosting UNC Greensboro next Saturday, January 14, at 4 p.m. inside Timmons Arena.