Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Big Second Half Run Propels Furman to 75-62 Win over VMI

The Paladins pulled away from VMI in the second half to improve to 8-5 in SoCon play, winning their 10th home game of the year.
Courtesy of Furman Athletics
Sophomore forward Ben VanderWal had a huge game in Furman’s 75-62 win over VMI on Feb. 15. Vander Wal had two career-highs with 15 points and 13 rebounds in the contest.

The Dins took to the court at home in Timmons against Virginia Military Institute on Wednesday, Feb. 14 hoping for a Valentine’s Day win. Wednesday was the second meeting between the two teams this season, with Furman dominating VMI 100-60 on Jan. 17 in Lexington, Va. This game, however, had a very different feel from the jump.

First off, the Dins were without star junior forward Alex Williams, who did not dress for the game. Secondly, the Keydets did not let Furman get off to a hot start and build a commanding lead like they did last time. In fact, neither team scored within the first three minutes. The Dins eventually settled into a rhythm set by junior guard Marcus Foster, who made a mix of layups, free throws and three pointers in the first half.

VMI then steadied themselves and created a sustainable offense to keep up with Furman’s scoring runs.

Junior guards Carter Whitt and JP Pegues were the ultimate facilitators, accounting for 15 of Furman’s 18 total assists in the game. Despite the struggles by both teams to put the ball in the basket early on, the score was 39-34 at the half in favor of the Dins.

In the second half, VMI tied the game for the first time since midway through the first half. Pegues hit a three-pointer immediately after the tie, and the Dins never looked back. From there, Furman went on a 23-3 scoring run, squashing all hopes of a road upset from the Keydets. A couple of turnovers in the final minutes allowed VMI to cut the deficit to 11 before Pegues made a layup in the last second to end the game.

Both teams saw unexpected bench performances contribute to the point total. Sophomore forward Ben VanderWal was the Dins’ leading scorer and rebounder with a career-high 15 points and 13 rebounds. The Keydets’ freshman guard Maurice Wright Jr. dropped 13 points, nine of which came from three-pointers. A rough shooting night from the Dins kept the score closer than many Paladin fans would have liked to see – however, the exceptional play from VanderWal was surely pleasing.

With this win Furman moved to 14-12 (8-5 SoCon) and now sits at fifth in the Southern Conference standings. The Dins will have a shot at revenge from a loss earlier this year against Chattanooga 18-8 (10-3 SoCon) at Timmons Arena on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 2 p.m. on CBS Sports News.

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About the Contributor
Jack Quinn
Jack Quinn, Print Designer
Jack is a junior Communications Studies major on the media studies track, and a minor in Visual Strategy. In addition to being the Print Designer for The Paladin Newspaper, he also writes various articles as well. He is a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and is a part of the Furman Club Golf team. He enjoys playing and watching college and professional sports, particularly football, basketball, and golf. Jack is from Dallas, Texas but is hoping to stay in the Greenville area post-graduation.
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