By Jake Crouse, Copy Editor
After breaking .500 with a win last week at Western Carolina, the women’s basketball team added another win Sunday against UNC-Greensboro to wrap up a perfect 3-0 away stretch for the Paladins.
Following a 1-1 start to SoCon play at home, the Paladins (10-9, 4-1 SoCon) started the road stretch battling rival Wofford in Spartanburg, S.C. Jan. 16. Trailing by six at the half, senior forward Holli Wilkins poured in all 16 of her points for the night in the second half, adding to junior guard Whitney Bunn’s 26-point performance to push the Paladins to a 70-61 victory. Though Wofford led the shot chart 65-48, Furman converted 50 percent of its shots to Wofford’s 33.8 percent and converted 22 points off of turnovers.
The next two matches felt the effects of the winter storm, both having to be reschedule to work around the ice. The first contest against Western Carolina was played earlier Thurs., Jan. 21 due to immanent threat of snow that night. After railing past WCU in the first half 39-27, a 25-12 third quarter in favor of the Catamounts had the Paladins trailing by one point. Led by Bunn’s 11-point fourth quarter performance, the teams headed to overtime, where after a back-and-forth rally, the Paladins set up senior guard Kelsey Ellis to shoot eight free throws off of forced fouls, all of which she converted. Furman won the game 83-76.
Bunn had a historic night, scoring a career-high 33 points. That total is the highest individual score by a Furman player since the 2008-2009 season. Sophomore forward Cierra Carter hit double digits on the glass with 12 rebounds.
The Paladins had to trek through hours of snow to reach UNC-Greensboro Sunday for the last road match of the stretch. Furman did not open cold, though, leading at the half 41-25. The Paladins never trailed for the duration of the game, finishing with a scoreline of 75-59. Bunn and Wilkins led the offense with a combined 45 points, with Carter heading up the rebounds with 12.
Bunn’s 25 points against UNC-Greensboro put her at 999 career points. Should she score once more this season, Bunn would become the 22nd player in Furman history to reach the 1000-point mark, and would be one of only a few to do it during her junior year.
Furman will play its next two matches at home: Jan. 28 vs. Samford and Jan. 30 vs. Mercer. These matchups will help flesh out the top of the SoCon standings, as Furman, Samford and Mercer all lead the conference with a 4-1 record. The Paladins must reverse the trend of away game wins with Samford and Mercer, as neither have lost on the road yet in conference play, if they want to stay atop the SoCon standings.