GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Furman's women's basketball team is set to tip off Southern Conference play on Thursday when it plays host to UNC Greensboro in a 7:00 p.m. clash in Timmons Arena.
The Paladins (8-7, 0-0 SoCon), a preseason third place pick in a poll of league head coaches, will play their next 14 games against SoCon foes, including a Saturday, 2:00 p.m. home contest versus Western Carolina.
Furman split its two meetings with the Spartans (6-9, 0-0 SoCon) a year ago by the narrowest of margins, dropping a 76-74 double overtime verdict in Greensboro before earning a 55-54 victory in Timmons Arena on a Le'Jzae Davidson game winning 3-pointer with three seconds left.
The Paladins finished fourth in league play last year (7-7), a game ahead of the fifth place Spartans (6-8).
UNCG enters Thursday's contest as the league leader in scoring defense (55.9), field goal percentage defense (.363), 3-point percentage defense (.231), and rebounding margin (+2.8), and the Spartans boast one of the SoCon's premier scorers in junior guard Nadine Soliman (18.7 ppg).
UNCG dropped a 58-49 verdict at Richmond in their last outing (Jan. 2).
Furman will look to bounce back against the Spartans following a shocking 78-74 loss to North Greenville on Sunday.
The Paladins are led by Davidson (17.7 ppg), a junior guard, and sophomore forward Celena Taborn (12.6 ppg).
Davidson recently became the 24th player in program history to top 1,000 points (currently 1,037) and Furman's all-time leader in 3-point shooting (191). Taborn, meanwhile, fashioned a season best 29 points and 16 rebounds against North Greenville and now ranks seventh nationally in field goal percentage (.664, 77x116).
Head coach Jackie Carson's squad is close to welcoming back redshirt sophomore small forward Tierra Hodges from a foot injury that has sidelined her for the last eight games. Hodges, who missed all of the 2017-18 campaign with a knee injury, contributed 23.4 minutes, 7.4 points and, more importantly, 6.9 rebounds over the Paladins' first seven games prior to exiting the lineup.
Thursday's Furman-UNCG game will be live streamed via ESPN+ and include StatBroadcast live stats. Links for both are available thru FurmanPaladins.com.