ASHEVILLE, N.C. (November 26, 2018) – On Sunday, the Furman Paladins improved upon their best start in program history when they defeated the UNCA Bulldogs, 65-51, at Kimmel Arena.
The Bulldogs’ starting lineup included four freshmen and a sophomore, and a more-experienced Furman (7-0) team took a 38-22 advantage into halftime. In the second half, UNCA (1-5) outscored the Paladins by a basket.
“I don’t think we made a ton of adjustments [at halftime], I just thought our guys played a little bit smarter. It all boils down to turnovers. We didn’t give them the ball as much in the second half as we did in the first half,” said UNCA head coach Mike Morrell after the game. “When you do that, you have the ability to set your defense and you’re not scrambling as much on the other end.”
The Paladins were led by Matt Rafferty’s 20 points. The senior also had 11 rebounds, five assists, a steal, and a block. The Bulldogs were paced by 14 points from freshman guard Tajion Jones. Fellow freshman Cress Worthy added 10 points and led the Bulldogs with six rebounds.
With the win, the Paladins remained undefeated on the season and have victories over Villanova and Loyola Chicago on their 2018 resumé. They will play their first Southern Conference game on Saturday when they host Western Carolina (2-5) at Timmons Arena.
The Bulldogs travel to face UT Martin (4-2) in a non-conference match on Saturday in Martin, Tennessee. Their Big South Conference games begin in early January.