In a game of back-and-fourth runs through the first thirty minutes of play, Furman was able to take a 63-62 lead with 9:50 left that they would not relinquish. The Paladins would extend that lead late from the free throw line and close the game out by a 96-82 margin.
The Terriers fall to 11-10 overall and 3-5 in the Southern Conference with the defeat. Furman improves to 15-6 overall and 6-2 in league play.
“It was a very competitive and intense game with two really good teams and a lot of talent that is well coached,” said interim head coach Dwight Perry. “What I told our guys was that when we were really good, especially to start both halves in the game, we were able to capitalize on a lot of things on both ends of the floor. But what we can’t do is get in the habit of deviating from that when good or bad stuff happens. Unfortunately, against really good teams, and more importantly against really experienced teams, when you deviate those teams are going to capitalize on those opportunities.”
Jackson Paveletzke was the game’s leading scorer with 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting. B.J. Mack added 21 points for the Terriers. J.P. Pegues led Furman in scoring with 24 points and eight rebounds, while Mike Bothwell added 20 points for Furman including 13-of-14 from the free-throw line.
“We know Jackson is a great player and the ball hasn’t gone in here recently for him,” said Perry. “But not one single person in our program thinks anytime he shoots the ball that it’s going anywhere other than through the net. It finally went back in there, and the same shots he’s been getting, he ended up making them tonight.”
Wofford opened up the game on an 8-0 run, however the Paladins would respond with a 20-3 run to take a 20-11 lead with under 12 minutes before halftime.
Furman held a 32-27 lead after their sixth three-pointer of the half. Wofford responded with a 9-0 run which included seven quick points from Paveletzke to put the Terriers back up by four at 36-32.
Furman and Wofford traded the lead over the final three minutes of the first half before the Paladins had a 44-43 lead at the break.
The Terriers came out on fire in the second half, going on a 9-0 run before a Furman response saw the Paladins go ahead 60-58. Wofford would tie the game up at 60 but were never able to regain the lead as Furman close the game on a 36-22 run over the final 11:44 of play.
Furman controlled the boards in the game, out-rebounding Wofford 42-30.
“They did a really good job at getting to the offensive glass,” said Perry. “I think there were definitely opportunities where we could have negated that advantage. I mean in games like this very rarely is it just going to be one schematic thing on either side of the ball. It’s going to end up being hustle plays and multiple effort plays, loose balls and offensive rebounds. It’s those type of plays that are going to sway the game and I think it did tonight.”
With the win, Furman improved to 15-6 overall and 6-2 in Southern Conference play. Wofford falls to 11-10 overall and 3-5 in the SoCon. Both teams are back in action on Wednesday. Furman hosts Samford at 7 PM and at the same time, Wofford will be at Chattanooga.
The two teams will renew their Upstate and conference rivalry on Saturday Feb. 4th at the Well in Greenville.