LEXINGTON, Va. – Virginia Military Institute dared Furman to shoot in Wednesday night’s game at Cameron Hall.
Led by 18 points from Alex Williams – and 10 assists from Carter Whitt – the Paladins annihilated the Keydets, 94-63.
Seven straight Southern Conference wins. Six in a row on the road. Sixth 20-win season in the last seven.
“We had 30 assists and made 17 3’s,” said Furman head coach Bob Richey to radio announcer Dan Scott. “It’s a lot of 3’s – 45 in the air – but when you shoot 38 percent, you can take 100 of them right?
“That’s just good math.”
Furman built a 31-point halftime lead and maintained it in the 2nd half.
Five different Paladins scored in double figures. Eight hit 3-pointers. Eight had rebounds. Nine scored. Ten showed up in at least one positive statistical category.
Richey praised Williams and Whitt, both of whom came off the bench, in his post-game accolades.
Williams, Richey said, “has a knack for the basket, and you’re seeing his versatility, where he’s not just a shooter, he can put the ball down and he gets out well on the transition. I really like that he chased down a bunch of offensive rebounds.”
Of Whitt, he said, “He’s really just fun to watch. I mean, when he gets in the open floor, you get to the point where, like, I don’t know what he’s going to do, but it’s going to be good. … He’s got an incredible vision and an incredible feel, and his confidence is growing.”
Jalen Slawson popped a 3 for the game’s 1st points at the 19:11 point. Garrett Hien and Marcus Foster joined the shower and Furman led, 11-4, after the 1st five minutes.
VMI backed into a zone and dared the Paladins to fire away, and it paid off briefly when Furman went cold. Whitt broke a scoring drought with a 3, and the Paladins led, 18-14, midway through the half.
A lovely pass from Hien to J.P. Pegues put Furman up, 22-16, at 8:02. Mike Bothwell became the 5th Din to hit a single triple at 6:42. Whitt became the 1st to hit 2, then Williams became the 6th to hit at least one, and it was 31-19. Then WIlliams hit another, as did Pegues, and the lead swelled to 37-21. Pegues’ transition lay-in swelled the lead to 20. Slawson’s slam and-1 gave the Paladins a 44-21 edge.
Furman (20-6, 11-2 SoCon) closed the half on a 22-2 run – VMI had 2 free throws by Ricky Bradley – concluded by Pegues’ 3 with five seconds left, and the lead at the break was 54-23.
The halftime margin for the Paladins was the largest since a 63-31 edge over The Citadel on Feb. 2, 2022.
Bothwell scored 14 points, Pegues 13, Tyrese Hughey 12 and Slawson 11. In addition to his 24 points, Williams grabbed 8 rebounds (5 offensive). Hien distributed 5 assists, Slawson 4 and Foster 3.
Taeshaud Jackson led VMI (6-20, 1-12) with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Asher Woods added 12 and Tyler Houser 11.
Furman remains one of three schools with a SoCon record of 11-2. Samford slipped past Mercer, 70-69, in overtime. The Paladins are back at Timmons Arena on Saturday a 2 p.m. versus Western Carolina, which handed Furman one of its two conference losses, 79-67, in Cullowhee on Dec. 21, 2022.
Saturday’s doubleheader begins at 11:30 a.m. with a women’s matchup of Furman and UNC Greensboro.
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