Chattanooga, Tenn. (Furman SID) — Senior Matt Rafferty tallied 20 points and 13 rebounds and Furman held Chattanooga to 34.5% shooting from the field en route to a 71-50 victory over the Mocs on Saturday afternoon in the regular season finale at McKenzie Arena.
The win marked Furman’s school-record 24th victory of the season as the Paladins improved to 24-6 overall and finished Southern Conference play at 13-5. With the win, Furman clinched the No. 3 seed in next weekend’s Ingles Southern Conference Tournament and will play a quarterfinal round contest at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 9, at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville, N.C.
Trailing 25-23 with under three minutes to play in the first half, Furman scored the final seven points of the half to take a lead into intermission and stretched its run to a 19-4 spurt to claim a 42-29 advantage on senior Andrew Brown’s triple with 13:57 remaining. A 9-0 run later in the period, highlighted by Clay Mounce’s three-pointer, helped push the Furman lead to 58-37 with under seven minutes to play.
Furman shot 48.3% from the field, including a 54.8% effort in the second half to complete the regular season sweep of the Mocs for the second straight season. It marked the first time the Paladins claimed back-to-back triumphs versus the Mocs in Chattanooga, Tenn., since winning at McKenzie Arena in 2005 and 2007.
Rafferty connected on 9-of-15 field goal attempts while recording his 15th double-double in 30 games. He added four assists and two steals. Sophomore Alex Hunter made 4-of-5 three-point attempts to tally 16 points and Brown added 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting behind the arc.
The Paladins managed a 39-34 rebounding edge and outscored the Mocs 38-26 in the paint. Chattanooga was 20-of-58 from the field, including 6-for-22 on three-point tries.