Saturday, November 16, 2019

Gurley's perfect 10 leads Paladins to win

Noah Gurley went 10-for-10 from the floor and scored a career-high 25 points
in Furman's 83-61 win over Southern Wesleyan. Photo courtesy of Furman
Noah Gurley had a perfect night from the floor and scored a career-high 25 points to lead Furman to an 83-61 win over Southern Wesleyan at Timmons Arena Friday night. Gurley made 10-of-10 field goals, and also had five rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals.

Gurley joins Russ Hunt as the only players in school history to take at least 10 shots without a miss in a game. Hunt's performance came in a 101-91 win over Appalachian State on Dec. 9, 1971.

"I just tried to get deep touches right around the rim. Their zone was kind of messing us up in the beginning, but coach just said to run the man offense," Gurley said in the postgame press conference. "I just tried to take what the game gave me."

The ironic thing about Gurley's career-high performance was that he had no shots over the first 14 minutes of the game. As it did Tuesday night at Charleston Southern, Furman (4-0) jumped out to an 8-0 lead 90 seconds in on a Jalen Slawson dunk and a pair of 3-pointers by Jordan Lyons.

That helped build a 28-14 lead as the Paladins took early command of the Division II visitors from Central. The Warriors stormed back though with a 14-0 run over a span of just 2:19 to pull even at 28-28 with 7:31 left in the first half.

Then Gurley took over. His hook shot with 5:50 left snapped the tie and started a 14-3 run to end the half. Gurley had 12 of Furman's 14 points in that spurt as the Paladins took a 42-31 lead into halftime.

"Once Noah got going, we were just figuring out any way we could get it to him," Furman coach Bob Richey said. "Credit to Noah and Slawson. They were 14-for-14 in the post and played really well."

Southern Wesleyan got the lead down to as close as eight at 44-36 in the second half before Gurley started another run. His layup with 15:07 left started a 15-4 spurt, capped by Gurley's jumper that made it 59-40 with 9:40 to play. Gurley had eight of the 15 points in that run.

Lyons finished with 11 points and moved into second place on Furman's all-time 3-pointer list with 217 for his career. Slawson had 10 points, eight rebounds, three steals and two blocks, while Clay Mounce also scored 10. Alex Hunter scored nine points and Mike Bothwell had eight off the bench also for the Paladins.

"We did some pretty good things offensively, especially in the second half," Richey said. "Defensively, we weren't as disciplined as we need to be and our team knows that. ... There's a lot that we will be able to take from this and we'll be able to clean some things up."

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