After a slow start in Asheville on Saturday, Furman trailed 32-29 at the half , but turned it up in the 2nd half. They outscored Mercer 44-26 after the break to win 73-58. It marks the 3rd time, the Paladins have beaten Mercer this season, after sweeping the regular seasons series.
Furman had four players in double figures, JP Pegues had a game high 22. The Paladins second half defense was the key, stifling Mercer and triggering scoring opportunities on the other end.
While Jalyn McCreary had a team high 18 for Mercer. However, no other Mercer player had more than 8 points. Furman had three other than Pegues in double digits. Ben Vanderwal had one of his best games this season with 11 points in 20 minutes off the bench. Mainstays Mike Bothwell and Jalen Slawson added 13 and 12 respectively for the Paladins.
Furman is now 25-7 on the season, they will take on Western Carolina in the Semifinals The two teams split a pair of regular season meetings, each winning at home. It was just one of Furman's three losses in the SoCon.
Furman is now two wins away from winning their 1st SoCon Tournament and earning their 1st bid to the NCAA Tournament since 1980. Hear all the action on The Fan Upstate, as the Paladins take on Western Sunday at 4 PM. A win puts them in the Conference Finals, Monday night.