GAME NOTES: Samford tries to complete the season sweep of Furman tonight, as the two Southern Conference foes clash at Timmons Arena in South Carolina.
This game was originally slated to take place last Thursday, but inclement weather played a part in postponing the meeting until tonight.
On Saturday, the Bulldogs were trying to put together a three-game win streak for the first time this season, but the team came up small in a 77-58 setback versus Wofford in Spartanburg. With the defeat Samford dipped to 3-5 in conference play.
Furman has found wins hard to come by of late, posting just a single victory in the month of January. Not since the first two games of the season against Sewanee and Gardner-Webb have the Paladins won consecutive outings and it won't happen tonight either because the squad bowed to Chattanooga over the weekend in a 67-52 final
The Paladins have lost two straight and seven of their last eight outings, which is why they are next-to-last in the SoCon standings entering the week.
The Bulldogs won the first meeting of the season back on Jan. 11 by a final of 57-55, which means Furman now leads the all-time series by a count of 10-5.
A slow start to their meeting with Wofford at Benjamin Johnson Arena over the weekend doomed the Bulldogs as they fell by 19 points. Raijon Kelly stepped up and converted both of his 3-point tries as he finished with 16 points, while Chris Longoria made the most of his nine minutes off the bench as he converted all six of his field goals tries in order to arrive at 13 points for a squad that shot only 3-of-12 out on the perimeter and 9-of-17 at the free-throw line.
A starter in all 22 games in which he has appeared this season, Tim Williams leads the Bulldogs in scoring with his 16.7 ppg, stemming from his impressive 60.1 percent shooting from the floor. Tim Williams is also responsible for 7.2 rpg which not only paces the program but is also close to twice the average of any of his teammates. Isaiah Williams and Kelly check in with 11.9 ppg and 10.0 ppg and each of them have handed out 67 assists in an effort to keep the offense moving forward.
Like Samford, the Paladins also had a tough time of it in the first half of their meeting with Chattanooga over the weekend at McKenzie Arena. The visitors converted a mere eight field goals, compared to 10 turnovers, and knocked down 1-of-5 at the free-throw line, en route to just 19 points and eventually the 15-point loss. Stephen Croone finished with 14 points on 5- of-15 shooting from the floor, followed by Kendrec Ferrara with 11 and nine rebounds. Charlie Reddick accounted for seven points and a team-best 12 boards.
Leading the way this season for Furman is Croone with his 19.0 ppg, shooting 46.8 percent from the field and 75.9 percent at the free-throw line where he has converted 129-of-170 through 21 games. To put that in perspective, no one else on the team has even attempted 55 shots at the charity stripe to this point in the campaign. Not only is he the top scorer, Croone is also tops on the unit with 75 assists and 33 steals, not to mention coming up with 4.6 rpg.
Combining this unscheduled trip with the fact that Samford has been horrible on the road this season, this game has all the markings of a Furman victory.
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