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Furman Tops Western Carolina, 65-55

Furman Tops Western Carolina, 65-55

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Jade Kirisome scored Furman's final 11 points of the first half to highlight a season high 14-point performance and lead the Paladins past Western Carolina, 65-55, in Southern Conference women's basketball action Saturday afternoon at Timmons Arena.

The win improves Furman to 10-7 overall and 2-0 in Southern Conference while Western Carolina falls to 3-13 overall and 0-2 in league action.

Kirisome, a freshman guard from Brisbane, Australia, whose previous high had been a 13-point outing versus Western Illinois on Dec. 21., made 5-of-8 field goals, including 3-of-6 three-pointers, and a free throw to account for her 14 points in 14 minutes of action.

With Furman holding a 26-24 late first half lead, Kirisome stretched the nylon on a 3-pointer from the corner with 3:25 remaining to ignite her own 11-point run.  She followed with another 3-pointer with 2:38 to go, connected with a jump shot off a baseline drive at the 1:00 mark, and put a wrap on a strong first half finish by bottoming out a 3-pointer with 20 seconds showing on the clock, sending Furman into the break with a 37-28 advantage.

A Jarya Outten steal and layup midway through the third quarter put the Paladins up, 50-35, and Furman led by as many as 19 points at 59-40 four minutes into the fourth period.

Celena Taborn scored 11 of her game high 15 points in the second half, connecting on 6-of-7 shots.  She shared game high rebounding honors with Kaitlyn Duncan, claiming eight rebounds, in 31 minutes of action.  Duncan delivered 14 points and on 6-of-8 shooting for Furman, which finished at 44.8 percent as a team (26x58).

Western Carolina placed three players in double figures, led by Jewell Smalls with 13 points and Tess Harris with 12.  Judith Martin Ruiz finished with 10 points.

Le'Jzae Davidson had her string of eight consecutive double digit scoring performances stopped, scoring eight points, but the Paladin junior guard contributed a career high six assists.

The win was Furman's sixth in its last seven clashes with Western Carolina.

The Paladins hit the road for their next two contests, facing East Tennessee State on Wednesday and Chattanooga next Saturday.