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Rafferty’s Career-High 28 Points Drives Furman Past The Citadel, 101-85

Clay Mounce
Clay Mounce

Greenville, S.C. -- Senior Matt Rafferty poured in a career-high 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to notch his eighth double-double of the season and help Furman downed The Citadel, 101-85, in Southern Conference men's basketball action before a sellout crowd Saturday afternoon at Timmons Arena.

With its 12th consecutive home victory and ninth straight SoCon win at Timmons Arena, Furman improved to 14-2 overall and 3-1 in the SoCon. The Citadel dropped to 9-5 overall and 1-2 in league play.

Leading 72-70 with under nine minutes to play, Rafferty netted back-to-back baskets to trigger a 25-5 run that staked the Paladins to a 97-75 advantage, their largest of the game, on Jordan Lyons' free throw with 2:18 remaining. Lyons, Noah Gurley and Tre Clark each drained triples during the decisive run to power Furman to its fifth victory over the Bulldogs in the last six meetings.

Rafferty made 11-of-15 shots from the field and converted on all six trips to the line to net his game-high 28 points. Lyons scored 17 points and Gurley and Clay Mounce finished with 15 apiece. Mounce added a career-best 13 rebounds, while Gurley pulled down a career-high eight boards. Alex Hunter rounded out the Paladins double figure scorers with 13 points and Clark posted a career-best nine boards and four steals.

Furman shot 46.8% from the floor and outscored the Bulldogs 48-34 in the paint. A 53-28 rebounding advantage, including 30-10 edge in the second half, helped the Paladins to 25 second-chance points.

The Bulldogs shot 50% in the first half to build a 46-43 lead before Furman made good on 53.8% of its attempts over the final 20 minutes to outscore The Citadel 58-39 in the second half.

The Citadel connected on 46.4% of its field goal attempts and converted on 14-of-43 three-point tries. Lew Stallworh and Alex Reed paced the Bulldogs with 23 and 20 points, respectively, while Kaiden Rice scored 18 points on 5-of-13 shooting behind the arc and Zane Najdawi contributed 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Furman begins a three-game road trip at VMI on Thursday, January 10, at 7 p.m. The game will be streamed live on ESPN3 and can be heard on the Furman IMG Sports Network with Dan Scott and Tom Van Hoy calling the action. Fans can listen on FoxSports 1440AM, via Stretch Audio at FurmanPaladins.com or by using the TuneIn Radio app.