news vmi drops socon opener at furman paladins win 85 62 behind 23 from marcus foster
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VMI drops SoCon opener at Furman: Paladins win, 85-62, behind 23 from Marcus Foster

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Image: VMI Athletics

VMI opened SoCon play Thursday night with an 85-62 loss at Furman.

The Keydets (5-9, 0-1 SoCon, KenPom: 321) kept pace for much of the opening half before going cold with 7:31 to play before the break.

From that point on, VMI could only muster one pair of free throws over the span as Furman (10-4, 1-0 SoCon, KenPom: 94) pulled away for a 33-21 halftime advantage.

VMI kept it within range early in the second stanza and pulled within 12 on a Devin Butler and-one effort to make the score 49-37 with 13:07 to play, but the Paladins again made a run and led by as many as 27 points with under three minutes left in regulation.

Furman’s Marcus Foster – who entered the contest shooting 29 percent from three-point range – caught fire against the Keydets by converting seven treys on the night, including five in the opening half. He finished the game with a career-high 23 points off the bench.

Devin Butler led VMI with 14 points on the night, while freshman center Tyler Houser contributed 13. Asher Woods also scored in double figures with 10 for the evening.

“Credit to Furman, they had a great game plan defending the three-point line against us,” VMI coach Andrew Wilson said. “The score got away from us a little in the second half, but it was not indicative of how close the game was. I’m proud of the guys at how they competed and we’ve got to bounce back on Saturday.”

The Keydets continue SoCon action Saturday at home against ETSU in a 1 p.m. tipoff at Cameron Hall on New Year’s Eve.

Chris Graham

In addition to being the editor of Augusta Free Press, I've written seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For my commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to my YouTube page, youtube.com/chrisgrahamAFP. Want to reach me? Try [email protected].