Greenville, S.C. (Furman SID) – Mike Bothwell drained a jumper from the left baseline with less than a second remaining to lift Furman to a 72-70 victory over defending WAC regular season champion Stephen F. Austin on Saturday afternoon in the inaugural Greenville Winter Invitational at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
 
With 40 seconds remaining in the game and the shot clock under one second, Stephen F. Austin launched a three from the right wing that banked in and appeared to give the Lumberjacks a 72-68 lead. Video review showed that the shot was released after the clock expired, wiping the triple off the board and giving Furman the basketball. 
 
Bothwell connected on a turnaround jumper in the lane with 27 seconds remaining to put the Paladins in front 70-69. On Stephen F. Austin’s next possession, Furman knocked the ball loose in the lane and Jalen Slawson pounced on the ball, but the Paladins called a timeout they did not have and were charged with a technical foul. After Latrell Jossell tied the game at the line on the technical foul shot, Bothwell penetrated down the left side and drilled a jumper off the dribble from 13 feet to break the deadlock.
 
Bothwell scored 21 points in the second half to finish with a career high 36 on 12-of-14 shooting from the field and a perfect 11-for-11 at the charity stripe. The fifth-year senior from Cleveland Heights, Ohio, became the first NCAA Division I player to score 35 or more points on 85% shooting from the field and a 10-of-10 or better night at the foul line in a decade. Bothwell is the first Paladin to finish perfect from the line on 11 or more attempts since Jordan Lyons went 13-for-13 at Alabama during the 2020-21 campaign, and the guard is the first Paladin to score 35 or more in a game since Lyons tallied 40 at VMI on January 1, 2020.
 
Furman’s defense held SFA without a basket for a stretch of over eight minutes and limited the ‘Jacks to 1-for-20 shooting during one stretch in the first half to build a 44-22 lead at intermission. Ben VanderWal’s slam seven seconds into the second half pushed the margin to 24 points, but Stephen F. Austin reeled off 18 straight points to trim the lead to six. The ‘Jacks knotted the game at 60-60 and took their first lead of the half on Jossell’s three-pointer with 2:25 left. The Paladins went over eight minutes without a field goal before Bothwell’s two baskets in the final 30 seconds delivered the victory.
 
Jossell led Stephen F. Austin (6-5) with 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting behind the arc and added six assists. AJ Cajuste scored 18 points off the bench and Nigel Hawkins contributed 13. The ‘Jacks shot 41.4%, including 62.5% in the second half, but converted on only 14-of-23 trips to the foul line.
 
The Paladins shot 52.2% from the field and connected on 18-of-21 trips to the foul line. Furman outscored the ‘Jacks 34-28 in the paint and managed a 33-30 edge on the glass.
 
Slawson joined Bothwell in double figures with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, and the senior added 10 rebounds to notch his fourth double-double of the season and 14th of his career. Sophomore JP Pegues dished out a career-best eight assists.
 
Furman (8-4) caps its non-conference schedule with a 7 p.m. matchup versus the NCAA Division II Anderson Trojans on Monday at Timmons Arena. Tickets are available online at FurmanPaladins.com.