Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman Dominates VMI in SoCon Opener, 85-62

Marcus Foster hits career-high 7 three-pointers and totals 23 as Furman clinches the W over WMI.

Led by Marcus Foster’s career-high 23 points and 8 rebounds, Furman defeated VMI 85-62 in the Southern Conference men’s basketball opener for both schools on Thursday night at Timmons Arena.

The redshirt junior’s 8-of-15 shooting was especially remarkable given his 7-of-12 shooting behind the arc. Apart from his efficient offensive display, Foster contributed two assists without committing a turnover as the Dins secured the dub for three games in a row to climb to 10-4 overall and 1-0 in the Southern Conference. WMI’s record; on the other hand, dropped to 5-9 overall and 0-1 in the SoCon.

Furman held the VMI Keydets without a field goal for the final 7:30 of the first half, ending the period on a 16-2 run to take a 33-21 lead into halftime. Freshman Ben VanderWal’s free throws were trailed by Foster’s three-pointers in the final five minutes of the half to help Furman rally. As Mike Bothwell drained a triple with 18:13 remaining on the clock, the Dins scored the first five points of the second half and stretched VMI’s field goal drought to more than nine minutes.

The Keydets then pushed for a miraculous comeback as they trimmed the Paladin lead down to 12 points with under 13:30 left. VMI’s efforts to get back into the game quickly were quickly responded to by the Dins, who scored 10 consecutive points as part of a 13-2 run. JP Pegues hit a contested three-pointer with 4:36 remaining and extended the lead to twenty five points in favor of the Dins, 75-50.

The fans witnessed VMI hardheadedly but desperately acknowledging the defeat and Furman resting on its laurels in the last four minutes as both teams displayed sloppy out-of-order plays. The Paladins clinched the victory 85-62.

Furman’s offensive performance was exhilarating for Paladin fans as Furman combined for a total of 25 assists on 30 baskets, drained 16 triples, and held VMI to 5-of-17 three-point shooting.

Pegues and Bothwell respectively scored 15 and 12 points, while Tyrese Hughey added 13 to join Foster in double figures. Jalen Slawson, the 2022 SoCon Defensive Player of the Year, contributed seven points, a game-high nine rebounds, eight assists and three blocks.

Another positive note on Furman’s end was the Paladin bench outscoring the VMI reserves 39-22. The efficient Paladin offense, displayed by both the starting unit and the bench, resulted in a 46.9% field goal from the floor. VMI connected on just 37.7% of its field goal attempts, with only 27.3% in the first half. The bench contribution and offensive efficiency were the key to a comfortable Furman win over VMI.

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About the Contributor
Deniz Sariaslan, Managing Editor
A junior from Turkey, Deniz is a double major in Economics and Communication Studies. His interest in media goes a long way back to 2019, since when he has been working as an NBA-credentialed editor at Turkey’s largest social media network on basketball. Having served as The Paladin’s sports editor for the past two years, he has decided to step out of his comfort zone and embrace a new challenge. So here he is now, executing the Managing Editor role.
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