JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Two teams will enter Freedom Hall Civic Center this Wednesday night. One will emerge as the top team in the Southern Conference.
East Tennessee State (23-4, 12-2) and Furman (22-5, 12-2) have been tied for the top spot in the SoCon since Feb. 1. Now, with the regular season winding down and the conference tournament on the horizon, the Buccaneers and Paladins will battle for first place.
The two teams have already met once this season, a matchup that didn’t fair well for the Buccaneers. Furman beat ETSU 65-56 inside Timmons Arena on Jan. 4 as cold shooting stifled the Bucs’ offense.
Wednesday’s game will also be a battle between the two teams with the longest active winning streaks in the SoCon. Furman has won seven straight games while ETSU has won its last five. When the two squads met in January, each was riding a five-game win streak and was unbeaten in conference play.
Tipoff: 7 p.m. (Doors open at 5:30 p.m.)
Location: Freedom Hall, Johnson City
Tickets: Purchase online or call 423-439-3878
GOLD OUT: Fans are encouraged to wear gold-colored attire
-A limited number of gold ETSU foam fingers will be given away as fans enter Freedom Hall
Furman is coming off a 58-53 win over Chattanooga at home. Noah Gurley led the squad in scoring with 14 points while Tre Clark put up six points, grabbed a career-high nine rebounds, and made three steals.
The Paladins’ top scorer, Jordan Lyons, only contributed six points. Lyons averages 17 points per game.
ETSU survived a scare at VMI last Saturday in a 72-67 contest. Patrick Good, who had been in a scoring slump, scored 14 points and ignited a second-half comeback after learning of his daughter’s birth prior to the game. Daivien Williamson scored 20 points, marking the fifth 20-point game of his career.
Bo Hodges was absent from the game due to a death in his family.
After Wednesday, the Bucs will travel to Samford and Wofford before returning to Freedom Hall on Saturday, Feb. 29 for the squad’s final home game of the season.
Furman will return to Greenville on Saturday to host Wofford before traveling to UNCG the following Wednesday. The Paladins will then host The Citadel to close out the regular season.