Furman (7-23) vs. Appalachian State (14-15)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 9, 2:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: U.S. Cellular Center (13,080) -- Asheville, North
Carolina. Television: ESPN3. Home Record: Furman 5-9, Appalachian State 10-4.
Away Record: Furman 1-14, Appalachian State 4-11. Neutral Record: Furman 1-0,
Appalachian State 0-0. Conference Record: Furman 3-15, Appalachian State 10-8.
Series Record: Furman leads, 44-38.
GAME NOTES: The Appalachian State Mountaineers begin their quest for the
Southern Conference Tournament championship on Saturday as they square off
with the Furman Paladins in the quarterfinals at the U.S. Cellular Center.
Furman, the 12-seed, was one of the three underdogs to advance past the first
round on Friday as they took down the fifth-seeded Samford Bulldogs, 55-51.
The Paladins had lost their 10 previous contests leading into the postseason
and managed just three wins in SoCon action all season. Furman has won the
SoCon Tournament on six different occasions, but the most recent triumph came
back in 1980.
Bobby Austin scored 17 points and Stephen Croone chipped in with 11 for Furman
as they upset Samford in the first round. After tying the game late in the
opening stanza to force a halftime tie, the Paladins used a 9-2 run to go
ahead for good with just over six minutes left in regulation. Furman shot just
39.5 percent from the floor in the contest, but it outscored the Bulldogs,
14-9, at the free-throw line to knock Samford out of the tourney for the third
consecutive season. Colin Reddick, who paces the squad with 12.5 points and
6.3 boards per tilt, went only 1-of-5 from the floor to net five points which
he accompanied with nine rebounds. The Paladins' upset came after they
finished last in the SoCon with an average scoring margin of -9.9 ppg.
Whichever team survives this bout will advance to face the winner of the
Georgia Southern/Davidson matchup.
This game marks the 83rd meeting between Furman and Appalachian State with
the Paladins holding a 44-38 series edge. The Mountaineers have won seven of
the last nine meetings, including a 72-66 decision on Feb. 16, during the
regular season in Boone.
The Mountaineers earned a first-round bye after compiling a 10-8 league record
this season and winning back-to-back games to close out the year over Samford
(70-67) and Chattanooga (86-60) to earn the No. 4 seed. Appalachian State has
won at least one SoCon Tournament game in each of the past four years, but it
has not played in the championship round since 2010. It has not won the SoCon
Tournament since 2000.
The trio of Nathan Healy, Jay Canty and Tevin Baskin will be instrumental in
the return to title game for the Mountaineers if they manage to do so. Healy
is the leader of the team in many statistical categories including points per
game (14.6), rebounds per game (7.9), steals per game (2.0) and blocks per
game (1.4). Canty is close behind in both the scoring (14.3) and rebounding
(6.2) columns while Baskin adds 10 ppg with 40.9 percent efficiency from 3-
point range. The three-headed attack helped ASU finish the regular season
ranked third in scoring offense at 71.6 ppg. However, there is plenty of room
for improvement on the other end where it surrenders 72.3 ppg.
Winning games on back-to-back days may be too great of a challenge for the
Paladins, who were expected to be on their way home today. Appalachian State
has too much scoring for Furman to keep up with.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Appalachian State 75, Furman 67
03/09 10:38:03 ET