Furman basketball’s final Weekend at the Well Saturday is the meat in the middle of a three-game sandwich that will likely decide whether or not the men’s team can capture its first outright Southern Conference regular-season championship since 1979-80.
At the very least, however, the noon clash at Bon Secours Wellness Arena represents a chance for the Paladins to avenge their most lopsided loss of the year against their closest and most intense rival, Wofford.
The Terriers whipped Furman 66-52 Jan. 17 in Spartanburg, South Carolina, which stands as one of the few blemishes on a season that has seen Furman (22-5) reach 20 victories faster than any team in school history and also set a program record by winning 20 games for the fourth straight year. In fact, the Paladins haven’t lost since and hold the conference’s longest active win streak at seven, but three games in seven days starting Wednesday will be their biggest test of the season so far.
Before Wofford comes to town, Furman has a chance take sole possession of first place in the SoCon when it travels to Johnson City, Tennessee, Feb. 19 to battle East Tennessee State (23-4). Both teams are 12-2 in the conference, and one game behind them at 11-3 is UNC Greensboro (21-6), which defeated Furman 86-73 in the previous Weekend at the Well in January and hosts the Paladins on Wednesday, Feb. 26.
Wofford, loser of three straight going into this week, would seem to be the weak link in that chain, but the Terriers (16-11, 8-6) have beaten Furman three times in a row and could dash the Paladins’ championship hopes with an upset.
Furman is led by Jordon Lyons ’20, who recently passed Eric Webb ’07 as the Paladins’ all-time leader in career 3-point baskets. Lyons, who is the team’s only senior, also passed Matt Rafferty ’19 and Andrew Brown ’19 as the winningest class Furman has ever seen.
Lyons paces the Paladins in scoring at 17.0 points per game, but Wofford held him without a field goal for the only time all year in the first matchup between the two teams. Noah Gurley ’22 (14.0 ppg), Clay Mounce ’21 (13.5 points and team-best 6.4 rebounds per game) and Mike Bothwell ’22 (10.2 ppg) give Furman four double-figure scorers.
Fan Fest gets started in the Furman Plaza outside the arena at 10 a.m., featuring inflatables, tailgate games, sponsor giveaways, concessions and beverages. “The Champions Walk with Men’s Basketball” will take place at 10:25 a.m. through Furman Plaza, followed immediately by a concert featuring country artist Joe Lasher.
Saturday’s game is also a “White Out,” with the first 5,000 fans receiving a free “AllDin” T-shirt presented by Ingles. One fan will also get a chance to win $50,000 during a halftime shooting contest.
Tickets for Weekends at the Well can be purchased by clicking here. Current Furman students will receive free admission with a valid student ID, and tickets will be available to pick up on the Friday prior to the game (Feb. 21) at 5:30 p.m. in the Furman Dining Hall or by picking them up when gates open on game day at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena box office entrance.
Faculty/staff ticket are available at a discounted rate. Requests should be directed to the Timmons Arena box office at 864-294-3099.
For more information about Furman athletics, visit FurmanPaladins.com.