Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Sellout Crowd Fuels Late Surge as Furman Beats Wofford 82-67

Guards JP Pegues and Marcus Foster combined for 41 points as the Dins defeated Wofford in Timmons sellout.
Courtesy of Furman Athletics
Junior forward Tyrese Hughey led the defensive effort against Wofford. He was named the Defensive Player of the Game in the 82-67 win.

The Furman Paladins welcomed rival Wofford to Timmons Arena on Saturday, Feb. 24 for the first time since 2020. The past three matchups were played in Bon Secours Wellness Arena in downtown Greenville, S.C. as a part of “Weekends at the Well.” The location, alongside Wofford’s 77-67 home victory over Furman on Jan. 27, was the reason why both the Paladins and Terriers fans had marked Feb. 24 on their calendar long ago.

With the teams only a game apart in league standings, this game held huge weight in determining their respective seeds in the conference tournament. The winner of the matchup would set themselves up well to claim the four seed, while the loser would likely fall out of the top half of the standings.

The game began with a triple from senior guard Marcus Foster to give Furman the lead. From there, both teams traded baskets when Wofford seized control and jumped out to a five point advantage. The Wofford run consisted of a three pointer from freshman guard Quentin Meza and a layup from junior guard Corey Tripp.

The Dins reclaimed the lead with 10 minutes left in the half on a 3-pointer from sophomore forward Ben VanderWal. Furman would continue to battle defensively, but a great 3-point shooting performance from the Terriers kept them in striking distance. Wofford shot an impressive 57% from distance in the first half, led by junior guard Jackson Sivills who made three of Wofford’s eight.

The half concluded with an 8-2 Furman run including a Foster triple, a JP Pegues layup, and three Foster free throws. With just a couple seconds left in the half, Wofford had one more possession, and the crowd at Timmons was roaring for a defensive stop. A block by junior forward Tyrese Hughey sent the crowd into a frenzy and the Dins into the locker room up by five at 44-39.

The second half saw Furman step up defensively and pull away quickly. Wofford’s hot shooting did not carry over to the second half, but the Paladins found their footing from the arc, making six of their own in the half.

Junior guard PJay Smith was a large part of the Dins offensive attack with 13 points on 4-6 shooting from behind the arc. Foster added five triples as well en route to a 20-point performance.
A small Wofford run midway through the half was ended by Pegues, who made a deep three to get the home crowd fired up again. Following the Pegues triple, the Dins never led by less than 10 again and even opened up the lead to 18 with under a minute to go.

Head coach Bob Richey called a substitution timeout with 43 seconds remaining to take the starters out of the game and put in his walk-on players. Freshman guards Cason Collins and Jeremy Burr entered alongside sophomore forward Thomas Tillman to a massive ovation from the Paladin fans in attendance. The game concluded with a Wofford bucket and Furman dribbling the clock out on an 82-67 victory.

With this win, the Dins sit at fourth place in the conference standings at 16-13 (10-6 SoCon) with two games to play. The Paladins will be in action next on Wednesday, Feb. 28 in Cullowhee, N.C. to take on fifth place Western Carolina.

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About the Contributor
Brock Eastman
Brock Eastman, Sports Editor
Brock Eastman is a junior from Summerville, SC. He is studying Biomedical Science and Religion on the pre-dental track. This is his first year with the paper and he’s excited to cover all of Furman’s teams and athletes. A fun fact about him is that he finished first in his age group in the Greenville Marathon two years ago.
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