Asheville, N.C. (Furman SID) – VMI held Furman without a field goal over the final 6:11 of regulation to rally from a 15-point deficit as the Keydets topped the Paladins in overtime, 91-90, in the quarterfinal round of the Ingles Southern Conference Men’s Basketball Championship presented by General Shale Brick on Saturday night at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center in Asheville, N.C.
The No. 6 seed Keydets (13-11) advanced to face No. 7 seed Mercer in Sunday’s semifinals, while the Paladins slipped to 16-9.
Furman held a 77-64 lead after Alex Hunter’s basket with 6:12 to play, and the Paladins continued to lead by an 80-70 margin following Jalen Slawson’s free throw with 3:18 to play. VMI, however, held the Paladins scoreless through the rest of regulation and knotted the game on Jake Stephens’ three-pointer with 33 seconds to play.
Myles Lewis scored VMI’s first three baskets of overtime to run the Keydets’ spurt to 16-2 and Greg Parham scored on a pull-up jumper in the paint with 1:46 left to give VMI an 88-82 advantage. After Hunter trimmed the margin to 88-85 with a triple, but Parham converted on a pair of free throws for the Keydets.
Clay Mounce drained a three for Furman with 57 seconds remaining to cut the lead to 90-88 and the Paladins came up with a stop on the defensive end. After calling timeout with 9.3 seconds left, Mike Bothwell drove to the basket, but the junior lost the ball out of bounds. The Paladins sent VMI to the line and Stephens connected on 1-of-2 free throws with 1.2 seconds on the clock. Furman tossed a home run pass down the court to Gurley who hit a shot at the buzzer form just outside the paint, leaving the Paladins a point short.
Gurley finished with a career-high 30 points on 11-of-21 shooting. Hunter and Mounce scored 17 points apiece, while Bothwell added 12. Furman shot 50.7% from the field, including 12-of-27 from behind the arc.
Stephens and Parham paced the Keydets with 25 and 21 points, respectively. Trey Bonham scored 14 points, Lewis tallied 13 and Sean Conway contributed 12 points and 12 rebounds.
VMI shot 50% from the floor and converted on 13-of-16 trips to the foul line. The Keydets managed a 39-30 rebounding edge and outscored the Paladins 44-42 in the paint.