Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman University's Student Newspaper

The Paladin

Furman Drops Final Regular Season Game to Mercer, 82-75

Mercer’s senior forward Jalyn McCreary scores 21 and propels Bears past Paladins in Southern Conference finale.
Courtesy of Furman Athletics
Senior guard Marcus Foster recorded a triple-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds in the regular season finale against Mercer.

Timmons Arena was flooded with Furman fans for the last time this season as a clash between the Paladins and the Bears concluded the regular season.

The start of Furman’s contest with Mercer resembled their first matchup on Feb. 7. The Bears knocked down three-point jumpers and kept steady with the Dins’ early fast-paced offense. The spring break crowd showed up in large numbers as Timmons was sold out for the fourth straight game.

Shooting inefficiency beyond the arc led to a rocky Furman start early in the first quarter. The Dins kept pace with the Bears’ hot offense thanks to a dunk from freshman forward Cooper Bowser and a couple of layups from senior forward Garrett Hein.

Mercer’s defense stifled the Paladins, allowing the Bears to take an early ten-point lead. Furman fired back with back-to-back three-pointers from junior guard PJay Smith Jr. and senior guard Marcus Foster. Following the surge from the Dins, Mercer called a timeout. After a nicely drawn up play from Mercer head coach Greg Gary resulting in a layup, Mercer carried the momentum of a 34-29 lead into the half.

Smith Jr. brought the firepower for the Dins to start the second half by making two three-pointers and assisting on a layup to junior forward Tyrese Hughey. Following this run, the Paladin defense failed to keep Mercer from capitalizing on scoring opportunities and stringing together defensive stops. The Bears shot the ball well and thus preserved their multi-possession lead throughout the second half. McCreary’s 21-point performance, including 15 in the second half, led the Mercer offense.

Down the stretch, Furman attempted to close the gap as Smith Jr. connected on a deep three. Junior guard JP Pegues then scored a layup right after sinking another three-pointer. Down only six, the Dins buckled down on defense and cut the lead to three with thirty seconds remaining. Unfortunately, these would be the last points the Dins would score in the contest. Mercer went on to make four straight free throws on consecutive possessions to secure the 82-75 victory.

The third home loss of the year gave the Dins a bad taste in their mouth heading into the Southern Conference tournament in Asheville, N.C. this coming weekend. Furman, who need three wins in a row to return to the NCAA March Madness tournament, will face the Western Carolina Catamounts on Saturday, March 9 in the quarterfinals. All SoCon quarterfinal games will be streamed live on ESPN+.

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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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