Elon 78, Furman 49
Key Stat: Furman shot 30% from the floor. The Paladins were ice cold in every respect. They shot 30% from the floor. They shot 28.6% from three point range. They shot 56.5% from the free throw line. They committed 15 turnovers. That was an absolutely terrible offensive performance for the Paladins.
Player of the Game: Lucas Troutman. Troutman was the only player on the Phoenix to score double digits. He scored 23 points on 11 of 15 shooting from the floor. He also had seven rebounds. That was quite a performance by the best player the Phoenix have on the roster.
What It All Means: The Phoenix were tremendous in this one. With games at home against Wofford and Davidson left, the Phoenix may actually have a shot at the SoCon regular season title. Of course, they are gunning for finishing in the top three of the SoCon at this point. They are playing their best basketball of the year. They need to be, as this closing stretch is brutal. This was maybe their best performance of the year. For Furman, this was a very disappointing performance. After playing well in recent weeks, the Paladins had to think they had a shot at the home upset. As it is, they did not play well. But that is OK for this team. It all comes down to Asheville for them, and I still maintain that this team will play well for at least one day there.
The Citadel 81, Samford 71
Key Stat: Bulldogs 20 of 26 from the free throw line. The Citadel knocked down 20 of 26 from the line. Samford made just 9 of 14. That was an eleven point difference from the charity stripe and the Bulldogs won by ten. That was the difference.
Player of the Game: Ashton Moore. Moore is the reigning SoCon Player of the Week and he played remarkable today. He scored 24 points with two rebounds and three assists. He made 7 of 12 from the field. He made 3 of 5 from three point range and 7 of 9 from the free throw line.
What It All Means: Samford is now in big trouble for getting the sixth seed in the SoCon Tournament. They beat UNCG, who is currently in sixth. They lost to Georgia Southern, who they are currently tied for seventh with. That means they are in the eighth spot right now. They host Appalachian State and Western Carolina to wrap up the season. They certainly need at least a split to get out of the dreaded 8-9 game. Two wins would mean they need just a loss by either Georgia Southern (not unlikely, but not exactly likely) or UNCG (very likely) to get out of the 8-9 game. They have a shot at two wins coming home for the first time since beating Chattanooga. But this loss was ugly and disappointing. For The Citadel, the school record 17 game losing streak is over. The Bulldogs finally have their first SoCon win. Ashton Moore is good and Matt Van Scyoc stepped up as well. The Bulldogs may be able to turn this into two wins (after all, they have Georgia Southern at home in the finale- not an impossible win), but it still seems very unlikely that this team comes up with an upset in Asheville.