By Carey Phillips
Jordan Lyons scored 33 points Saturday leading Furman to an 82-73 Southern Conference men’s basketball victory over Western Carolina before 2,338 fans at the Ramsey Center.
Alex Hunter added 21 points for the Paladins, and Noah Gurley had 11.
Onno Steger and Mason Faulkner led the Catamounts (15-8, 7-5) with 24 and 22 points, respectively.
Furman scored 10 straight points, including seven by Lyons, for a 17-9 lead with 14:33 to play in the first half.
WCU nailed five three--pointers, including two apiece by Faulkner and Matt Halvorsen, in a 15-3 spurt to go up 24-20 with 9:42 on the clock.
The Cats’ biggest lead was 30-25 after two Carlos Dotson foul shots at the 7:10 mark.
The Paladins reeled off 12 unanswered points, including five by Hunter, to claim a 37-30 advantage on Tre Clark’s layup with 3:34 on the clock.
A three-pointer by Travion McCray in the final minute left WCU down 39-37 at halftime.
Halvorsen started the second half with a three-pointer for a 40-39 Western edge.
Faulkner’s three-point play produced a 60-60 tie at the 8:25 mark.
Lyons’ jumper gave Furman the lead for good, 62-60, with 8:01 on the clock. That started a 10-2 run, during which Lyons had five, for a 70-62 margin after Noah Gurley’s layup at the 5:15 mark.
The Cats cut the gap to 73-71 on two Faulkner foul shots with 2:16 remaining but managed just two points the rest of the way.
Lyons hit a pair of free throws then converted a three-point play helping the Paladins regain control.
Furman shot 50.9 percent from the field, and WCU made 46.3 percent of its attempts.
Dotson had 12 rebounds as Western held a 33-29 edge on the boards. Clay Mounce topped the Paladins with eight.
The Cats committed 15 turnovers, and Furman had 11.
Completing the WCU scoring were Halvorsen and Dotson with nine apiece, Tyler Harris with four, McCray with three and Xavier Cork with two.