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Jalen Slawson

The challenges continue for Furman’s early, unbeaten men’s basketball team.

The Paladins open play in the Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic on Thursday when they battle Big Ten member Penn State. Tip-off at TD Arena in Charleston is at 11:30 a.m. and the game will be broadcast live on ESPNU.

The winner of Thursday’s clash will take on Thursday’s Old Dominion-Virginia Tech winner at noon on Friday, with the loser facing either the Monarchs or Hokies at 2 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. on Friday in the consolation bracket. All games in the Charleston Classic, which also includes Colorado State, Davidson, South Carolina and host College of Charleston, are to air on the ESPN family of networks.

Furman enters the tournament at 2-0 and ranks 3rd in the latest College Insider Mid-Major Top 25 behind top-ranked Gonzaga and No. 2 St. Mary’s. The Paladins downed perennial mid-major power and Missouri Valley Conference member Belmont, 89-74, in their last outing on Nov. 11 at Timmons Arena. Fifth-year senior Mike Bothwell poured in 25 points and fellow 5th-year Jalen Slawson added 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Slawson, who grew up just 25 miles from TD Arena in Summerville, needs just 18 points to become the 50th player in Furman basketball history to reach 1,000 career points. Former United Press National Player of the Year, No. 1 draft pick and two-time NBA All-Star Frank Selvy ranks as the Paladins’ all-time leading scorer with 2,538 career points. Selvy will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday evening in Kansas City, Mo.

Thursday’s tournament opener marks just the 2nd meeting between the Paladins and Nittany Lions. Penn State claimed a 70-49 decision in the previous encounter on Nov. 28, 2010, in University Park, Pa. The Nittany Lions enter the Charleston Classic at 3-0 after downing Butler, 68-62, on Monday evening at Bryce Jordan Center.

Furman is 1-0 all-time versus potential Friday opponent Old Dominion, defeating the Monarchs 68-55 in Greenville, in November of 1999. The Paladins and former SoCon foe Virginia Tech have met 28 times on the hardwood with the Hokies holding a 16-12 series edge. Virginia Tech topped Furman by a score of 75-54 in the last meeting on Nov. 26, 2013, in Blacksburg, Va.

Following the Charleston Classic, Furman returns home to host Tusculum in a “Black Friday” showdown at Timmons Arena. Tip-off on Friday, Nov. 25, is scheduled for 2 p.m. 

Date

Time (ET)

Matchup/Event

Network

Thu, Nov. 17

11:30 a.m.

Furman vs. Penn State

ESPNU

 

2 p.m.

Old Dominion vs. Virginia Tech

ESPN2

 

5 p.m.

Colorado State vs. South Carolina

ESPNU

 

7 p.m.

Davidson vs. Charleston

ESPNU

Fri, Nov. 18

12 p.m.

Semifinal #1

ESPN2 or ESPNU

 

2 p.m. or 2:30 p.m.

Consolation Game #1

ESPN2 or ESPNU

 

5 p.m.

Semifinal #2

ESPN2

 

7:30 p.m.

Consolation Game #2

ESPNEWS 

Sun, Nov. 20

10:30am

Seventh Place Game

ESPNEWS

 

12:30 p.m or 6 p.m.

Fifth Place Game

ESPNU or ESPNEWS

 

12:30 p.m or 6 p.m.

Third Place Game

ESPNU or ESPNEWS

 

3:30 p.m.

Championship Game

ESPN2