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VMI rallies from 10 down late, upsets Furman in OT, 91-90, in SoCon Tournament quarterfinals

VMI AthleticsDown by 10 with just over three minutes to play in regulation, VMI rallied to force overtime, and eventually pulled out a 91-90 OT victory over Furman Saturday in the SoCon Tournament quarterfinals.

The Keydets (13-11, 7-7) will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time since 2003. VMI will face No. 7 seed Mercer, which upset No. 2 Wofford earlier in the day to set up the showdown at 7:30 p.m.

The game will be televised on ESPNU and available on the ESPN app with a cable subscription.

“Wow – that was something,” VMI coach Dan Earl said. “It wasn’t exactly how we drew it up. It wasn’t our brand of basketball for about 35 minutes. I’m super proud of the guys. We kept fighting and swinging and hanging in there.”

Senior guard Greg Parham converted a pair of free throws at the 3:08 mark and a minute later scored a jumper to trim the Furman lead to 80-74 with 2:13 on the clock.

On VMI’s next possession, Parham converted a three-pointer at the top of the arc to make it 80-77 with 1:28 to go.

The Paladins (16-9, 10-5) milked the clock, but missed a three-point attempt by Noah Gurley with one minute to play. On the other end, Sean Conway found a wide open Jake Stephens in three-point range, and the Bunker Hill, W.Va., native sunk it to tie the game at 80 apiece with 33 seconds to play.

Furman’s Gurley missed a jumper to win the game and the overtime period was forced.

VMI senior Myles Lewis kicked it up a notch in the overtime period to score VMI’s next six points, including a layup, a huge steal that led to another layup in transition, and a short jumper to pull VMI ahead 86-82 with 2:43 to play.

Parham scored a jumper to make the game 88-82 before Furman’s Alex Hunter converted a three. Parham was then fouled with 1:10 left and converted both free throws to make it 90-85.

Furman’s Clay Mounce quickly scored a three to cut the VMI lead to 90-88 with 0:57 on the clock. Stephens was fouled, missed his first free throw but converted the second in what turned out to be the difference with two seconds remaining.

The Paladins’ full-court heave was received by Gurley, who spun around and converted an 18-footer from the baseline but was unable to shoot from the intended three-point range to tie the game.

Stephens finished the game with 25 points while Parham ended with 21. Freshman Trey Bonham logged 14 points, Lewis finished with 13 and Sean Conway earned a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds in the win that featured five ties and four lead changes.

Furman was paced by Gurley’s 30 points while Mounce and Hunter both finished with 17.

augusta free press
augusta free press