Friday, March 6, 2020

Top-seeded Samford women oust Paladins

Tierra Hodges had 12 points and eight rebounds in Furman's 75-45 loss
to Samford in the SoCon semifinals Friday. Photo courtesy of Furman
In Thursday's quarterfinals of the Southern Conference women's basketball tournament, Furman had just one turnover over the final 19-plus minutes to pull away for a win over Wofford. In Friday's semifinals, it was a completely different story.

The fourth-seeded Paladins committed at least five turnovers in all four quarters as top-seeded Samford rolled to a 75-45 win and avenged getting swept by Furman in the regular season. The Paladins finished with 22 turnovers, the most they've committed against a SoCon opponent all season. The Bulldogs (17-14) had 14 turnovers themselves, but those didn't prove nearly as costly. Samford enjoyed a 24-3 advantage in points off turnovers.

On Thursday, Furman rallied from an early 17-8 deficit to post a 14-point win over the Terriers. An early barrage of miscues Friday put the Paladins (19-12) in a hole again, but they could never get out of this one. From the 4:13 mark of the first quarter to the 8:18 mark of the second quarter, Furman had seven turnovers and an 11-7 Samford lead grew to 24-11.

The Paladins cut the lead to 26-20 with 2:34 left in the second quarter, but Samford ended the half on a 7-2 run to take an 11-point lead and was never threatened the rest of the way.

Tierra Hodges was the lone Paladin in double figures, as she had 12 points and eight rebounds. Celena Taborn added nine points, while Milica Manojlovic had six points, five assists and two steals. Le'Jzae Davidson had a tough end to her brilliant career as she scored six points. The third-leading scorer in school history finishes with 1,753 points in her career.

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