Thursday, March 5, 2020

Furman women seek another run in Asheville

Led by All-SoCon player Tierra Hodges, Furman faces Wofford Thursday in
round one of the SoCon women's tournament. Photo courtesy of Furman
A year after coming agonizingly close to cutting down the nets as the Southern Conference Tournament champion, the Furman women's basketball team is set to begin its quest to get back and take that one last step in another run this season. The fourth-seeded Paladins open tournament play Thursday at approximately 1:15 p.m. against Wofford in Asheville, N.C.

To advance to Friday's semifinal round and face either No. 1 Samford or eighth-seeded Western Carolina, Furman will have to beat the rival Terriers for the second time in six days. The Paladins improved to 28-0 all-time at home against Wofford with a 62-56 win last Saturday to wrap up the regular season at 18-11 overall and 8-6 in league play. Tierra Hodges had 14 points and a career-high 18 rebounds to lead Furman. Hodges' 14th double-double this season helped her earn SoCon Player of the Week honors.

Saturday's win avenged a 66-62 loss to the Terriers in Spartanburg, in which Wofford rallied from a five-point deficit with 6:32 left to play.

Last season in Asheville, No. 2 seed Furman and top-seeded Mercer put on a thrilling finale. The teams swapped the lead 10 times before Mercer rallied from a six-point fourth quarter deficit to win, 66-63. It was the Bears' 34th consecutive win against SoCon competition, a streak that the Paladins snapped to open SoCon play this season.

After averaging 11.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per game this season, Hodges earned first team All-SoCon honors by the media and second team by the coaches. Furman leading scorer Le'Jzae Davidson (14.3 points per game) earned second team honors in both. Davidson is the currently the third leading scorer in school history, right behind Coach Jackie Carson, with 1,729 career points.

Furman's Lindsey Taylor also earned All-SoCon honors as a member of the All-Freshman team. It's the ninth consecutive season that a Paladin has been selected to the five-player All-Freshman squad.

The Paladins are seeking their first SoCon championship in 20 years. As the lone senior, Carson led that 2000 team that cut down the nets at the then Bi-Lo Center.

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