GAME NOTES: The final Southern Conference regular season meeting between Furman and Davidson is on tap at Belk Arena on Saturday evening.
The Wildcats, who will leave the SoCon for the Atlantic 10 Conference after this season, are on a roll with six straight wins. They're 9-1 in conference play.
Davidson continued its impressive final season in the SoCon with a 109-88 rout of Samford Thursday night. De'Mon Brooks poured in 28 points for Davidson, which also received a strong showing from Brian Sullivan, who tallied 25 points with the help of 7-of-10 shooting from 3-point range. Tyler Kalinoski added 19 points and seven assists while Tom Droney recorded a double-double with 18 points and 10 assists. Jordan Barham provided a spark off the bench with 10 points. Davidson made a school-record 16-of-22 3-pointers and shot 64.9 percent overall.
The Wildcats enter Saturday tied with Chattanooga for the lead in the SoCon. Davidson has the edge after beating the Mocs on Jan. 30, 94-51. The last loss by Davidson came Jan. 16 in overtime against Elon. The Wildcats are making a league-best 54 percent from the field, including 47 percent from beyond the arc. All five Davidson starters average at least 8.6 ppg with four of them in double figures led by Brooks (19.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg). Sullivan (12.6 ppg), Kalinoski (11.2 ppg) and Droney (11.2 ppg) are part of a team that leads the SoCon with 78.3 ppg. Over the last three games, Droney has handed out 25 assists, while committing only five turnovers.
The Paladins have lost three in a row and eight of their last nine games. Furman hasn't played since Monday's 76-68 setback at home against Samford in a game that was rescheduled due to a winter storm. Stephen Croone tallied a game-high 26 points for Furman. Larry Wideman chipped in 16 and Charlie Reddick chimed in with 10.
Croone paces the Paladins with 19.4 ppg and 3.6 assists and has totaled a team-best 35 steals. Kendrec Ferrara (10.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and Wideman (10.6 ppg) are part of a team that averages only 66.5 points, which is tied next-to- last in the SoCon. Ferrara has shot 57.7 percent from the field during conference play.
Davidson has won six straight and 17 of the last 18 meetings. That includes a 73-56 win on Jan. 9. Furman's only triumph in that stretch that dates back to the 2005-06 season was on Feb. 12, 2011 on the Paladins' home court. Davidson has won 18 straight home games against Furman with the Wildcats' last such loss coming Jan. 11, 1990. There's no reason to think Furman will pull off the upset here. Davidson has been finishing its SoCon slate strong with victories in 22 of its last 23 league contests going back to last year. The Wildcats have also won 26 of their last 27 SoCon games at Belk Arena.
Game Date and Time