Late run lifts Furman over VMI 79-64

Paladins go on 18-3 run in final 5 minutes to pull away
Late run lifts Furman
Photo credit USATI

Conley Garrison scored a game high 22 points, and Jalen Slawson chipped in 21, to lead the Furman men’s basketball team to its third consecutive victory, and fifth in a row at home over league opponents, after defeating the VMI Keydets 79-64 in Southern Conference action at Timmons Arena.

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Furman improves to 15-7 on the season and 7-2 in conference play, while VMI drops to 11-10 overall and 4-5 in the league.

Garrison and Slawson both knocked down eight field goals in the contest while combining for nine of the Paladins’ 14 3-pointers. Slawson registered a game high nine rebounds to go with four steals, three blocks and two assists. Garrison added eight rebounds and four assists. Mike Bothwell poured in 14 points and eight rebounds, and Alex Hunter contributed 10 points and five assists. Marcus Foster recorded seven points, six rebounds and three blocks.

Jake Stephens paced the Keydets offensively with 20 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Kamdyn Curfman scored 16 points while Trey Bonham had 11 points and six assists. Sean Conway tied Stephens with eight rebounds.

VMI overcame an eight-point deficit early in the second half to take a 57-56 lead with 6:20 left in the contest when Honor Huff capped a 7-0 run over a stretch of 1:16 by making two free throws. Furman would take the lead back before Stephens tied the game at 61-61 with 5:08 remaining following his jumper in the paint.

The Paladins outscored the Keydets 18-3 over the final five minutes of the contest with VMI scoring their three points at the free throw line. After the Keydets evened the score at 61-61, Furman scored seven consecutive points to extend its lead to 68-61 at the 3:25 mark. VMI got to within five points, but the Paladins responded by closing the game out on an 11-1 run, covering 2:13, to put the final score at 79-64. Furman scored its final six points at the charity stripe.

The Keydets, who led for most of the opening six minutes of the game, scored six of the first eight points to begin the contest and later held an 11-8 lead with 14:04 to go. The Paladins responded with an 18-6 run and boasted a 26-17 advantage with 5:31 remaining when Foster connected on a 3-pointer. Furman took its largest lead of the first half when Slawson’s triple with 2:19 left extended its lead out to 34-23. Garrison sent the Paladins into halftime leading 39-30 after his layup with nine seconds to go.

Furman concluded the game shooting 41.8 percent (28-of-67) from the field and held a 47-32 advantage in rebounding highlighted by 18 offensive boards. The Paladins led in second chance points (22-7), fast break points (7-5) and bench points (5-0).

Furman travels to Macon, Ga. on Saturday evening for a 6 p.m. tip off, you can hear every Furman game on ESPN Upstate.