FURMAN
ELON

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No. 25 Furman tops Elon 98-77 after debut in rankings

ELON, N.C. (AP) Furman has no margin for error if it wants to stay in the AP Top 25. But the strain of that situation wasn't evident in the program's debut as a ranked team.

Alex Hunter scored all of his 18 points in the second half, and No. 25 Furman won its first game since it cracked the rankings, 98-77 over Elon on Tuesday night.

''I think we've handled all the attention we're gotten in the last 24 hours well,'' Furman coach Bob Richey said. ''We know the next time we lose, we're out.''

Matt Rafferty also scored 18 points and Clay Mounce added 17 for the Paladins (9-0), who earned their ranking thanks to an early-season resume that includes road victories over defending national champion Villanova and Loyola-Chicago, which made the Final Four last season.

''It's been a wild month,'' Richey said. ''This is one of the most mentally tough (teams) I've ever been around. We just try to keep going forward. The message is nobody is satisfied.''

Steven Santa Ana led the Phoenix (3-6) with 21 points and Tyler Seibring scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half for Elon, which pulled within 55-52 on Simon Wright's 3-pointer with 12:22 left. But the Paladins responded with a 13-2 run to take a 79-61 lead on Jaylon Pugh's 3-pointer with 6:29 remaining.

Furman stretched its lead to as many as 24 points down the stretch.

''We have the same mentality,'' Hunter said. ''We just have to stay together. As long as we do what we're supposed to do, we'll keep succeeding.''

Hunter triggered Furman's game-clinching run with a short left-hander off the glass and added a pair of 3-pointers, the second giving the Paladins an 82-64 lead with 5:47 to play.

Furman made 15 of 32 3-point attempts, including 10 of 16 in the second half, and was 22 of 33 overall (66.7 percent) after the break. Elon was 14 of 35 from long range.

''We made mistakes down the stretch in the second half, and it seemed like they made every 3-point shot they took,'' Elon coach Matt Matheny said.

BIG PICTURE

Furman: The Paladins, who escaped with a two-point home victory over Western Carolina on Saturday, never trailed this time.

Elon: The Phoenix faced their second ranked team of the season, both at home. They opened the new 5,000-seat Schar Center with a 116-67 loss to then-No. 7 North Carolina. They made several runs at Furman before the Paladins pulled away.

UP NEXT:

Furman: At South Carolina Upstate on Saturday afternoon.

Elon: Hosts North Carolina Greensboro on Friday night.

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Key Players
M. Rafferty
32 F
S. Santa Ana
22 G
27.5 Min. Per Game 27.5
14.5 Pts. Per Game 14.5
2.0 Ast. Per Game 2.0
6.5 Reb. Per Game 6.5
65.2 Field Goal % 48.4
Three Point % 47.6
60.0 Free Throw % 100.0
+ 3 Chuck Hannah made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Andy Pack 1.0
  Offensive rebound by Elon 1.0
  Simon Wright missed layup, blocked by Jalen Slawson 2.0
  Offensive rebound by Seth Fuller 9.0
  Kris Wooten missed 3-pt. jump shot 11.0
  Defensive rebound by Simon Wright 16.0
  Jalen Slawson missed layup 18.0
  Offensive rebound by Jaylon Pugh 26.0
  Jaylon Pugh missed layup, blocked by Simon Wright 28.0
  Defensive rebound by Jalen Slawson 42.0
  Nathan Priddy missed 3-pt. jump shot 44.0
Team Stats
Points 98 77
Field Goals 38-67 (56.7%) 29-65 (44.6%)
3-Pointers 15-32 (46.9%) 14-35 (40.0%)
Free Throws 7-9 (77.8%) 5-8 (62.5%)
Total Rebounds 38 31
Offensive 7 8
Defensive 27 19
Team 4 4
Assists 24 22
Steals 9 5
Blocks 2 6
Turnovers 11 14
Fouls 13 13
Technicals 0 0
18 PTS, 6 REB, 3 AST
21 PTS, 5 REB, 5 AST
12T
away team logo 25 Furman 9-0 395998
home team logo Elon 3-6 294877
Team Stats
away team logo 25 Furman 9-0 77.6 PPG 38.8 RPG 15.9 APG
home team logo Elon 3-6 70.8 PPG 36.9 RPG 14.6 APG
Key Players
10
A. Hunter G 9.0 PPG 3.5 RPG 3.3 APG 42.3 FG%
22
S. Santa Ana G 16.0 PPG 6.3 RPG 2.7 APG 46.0 FG%
Top Scorers
A. Hunter G 18 PTS 4 REB 7 AST
S. Santa Ana G 21 PTS 5 REB 5 AST
56.7 FG% 44.6
46.9 3PT FG% 40.0
77.8 FT% 62.5
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Rafferty 18 6 3 9/11 0/0 0/0 2 29 0 1 5 4 2
A. Hunter 18 4 7 7/15 3/10 1/1 0 31 3 0 1 0 4
C. Mounce 17 9 4 7/8 3/4 0/0 2 33 1 0 0 0 9
J. Lyons 13 1 2 5/12 1/5 2/4 1 31 1 0 2 1 0
N. Gurley 9 2 1 3/5 1/3 2/2 3 15 2 0 2 0 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Rafferty 18 6 3 9/11 0/0 0/0 2 29 0 1 5 4 2
A. Hunter 18 4 7 7/15 3/10 1/1 0 31 3 0 1 0 4
C. Mounce 17 9 4 7/8 3/4 0/0 2 33 1 0 0 0 9
J. Lyons 13 1 2 5/12 1/5 2/4 1 31 1 0 2 1 0
N. Gurley 9 2 1 3/5 1/3 2/2 3 15 2 0 2 0 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Bothwell 11 2 1 3/7 3/6 2/2 1 21 1 0 0 1 1
J. Pugh 9 3 2 3/4 3/3 0/0 1 14 0 0 0 1 2
J. Slawson 3 3 1 1/2 1/1 0/0 0 5 0 1 0 0 3
J. Williams 0 1 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 1 5 1 0 1 0 1
B. Schuck - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Clark 0 3 3 0/2 0/0 0/0 2 16 0 0 0 0 3
R. Swanson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Brown - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 98 34 24 38/67 15/32 7/9 13 200 9 2 11 7 27
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
S. Santa Ana 21 5 5 7/12 5/8 2/2 2 33 1 2 3 0 5
T. Seibring 19 5 2 8/16 1/6 2/2 0 28 2 1 1 2 3
S. Eberhardt 13 5 6 5/9 3/5 0/1 2 28 0 0 1 1 4
N. Priddy 11 3 2 4/9 3/7 0/0 2 36 0 0 5 0 3
K. Kundrotas 2 0 2 1/1 0/0 0/0 1 11 0 0 0 0 0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
S. Santa Ana 21 5 5 7/12 5/8 2/2 2 33 1 2 3 0 5
T. Seibring 19 5 2 8/16 1/6 2/2 0 28 2 1 1 2 3
S. Eberhardt 13 5 6 5/9 3/5 0/1 2 28 0 0 1 1 4
N. Priddy 11 3 2 4/9 3/7 0/0 2 36 0 0 5 0 3
K. Kundrotas 2 0 2 1/1 0/0 0/0 1 11 0 0 0 0 0
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
S. Wright 6 3 2 2/7 1/3 1/3 2 17 0 1 0 1 2
C. Hannah 5 3 0 2/4 1/2 0/0 1 18 0 0 1 1 2
S. Fuller 0 2 1 0/2 0/2 0/0 1 13 2 0 0 2 0
F. Poser 0 1 0 0/2 0/0 0/0 2 5 0 1 3 1 0
K. Wooten 0 0 1 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 4 0 1 0 0 0
A. Pack 0 0 1 0/2 0/1 0/0 0 7 0 0 0 0 0
D. Swoope - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Chester - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Radja - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Scott - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Stubbs - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 77 27 22 29/65 14/35 5/8 13 200 5 6 14 8 19