LEXINGTON, Va. - The SoCon-leading Furman Paladins raced out to a 31-9 lead and never looked back en route to an 80-52 win over the VMI Keydets in SoCon conference basketball action Monday night in Lexington, Va.
Furman (19-8, 12-2 SoCon) led wire to wire en route to winning its ninth consecutive game, all in SoCon play, and the Paladins did it by making their first four three-pointers and five of their first nine.
After Furman's early run, the Keydets (6-18, 3-10) were able to get back within 13 early in the second half, but the Paladins responded by blowing the game open with a 24-8 run and went on to victory.
Furman was led in victory by five players in double figures, paced by John Davis with 13. Kris Acox added 12 points and seven rebounds for a Paladin team that forced 18 turnovers.
VMI was paced by Julian Eleby's 18 points and six rebounds. QJ Peterson was limited to 11 points, thanks to a strong defensive effort by Furman's Devin Sibley.
For the game, the Keydets were limited to 17 of 51 from the field (33.3%) and 7 of 20 (35%) from three-point range. VMI went 11 of 17 (64.7%) at the line. Furman was 28 of 57 overall (49.1%), including 15 of 24 in the second half, and 11 of 26 (42.3%) from long range. The Paladins made 13 of their 18 free throw attempts (72.2%).
VMI basketball will return to action Wednesday night, when the Keydets play host to the Chattanooga Mocs at 7 p.m.
Quotes - VMI Head Coach Dan Earl
"Credit Furman. They came out and they were really, really, good. I though they played a strong game all the way around. We were not ready to play from the start. It took us six to eight minutes to realize how fast moving the game was going to be and how physically strong we would have to play. I thought we played better defense toward the end of the first half and we tried to compete better in the second half, but the game got away from us early."
"Defensively we just weren't fast enough. They were driving us to the basket early and got a couple of layups and they threw the first punch. That's something we had to do better at. We have to withstand it and move on."