The surprising Furman Paladins will host the UNC Wilmington Seahawks on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.
The game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. ET. While it won’t be broadcast nationally on television anywhere in the US, you can still watch a live stream of the game on your computer, phone or streaming device via ESPN+, the new digital streaming service from ESPN that has exclusive coverage to dozens of college basketball games–and several other sports–every week.
You can sign up for a free 7-day trial of ESPN+ right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app.
If you can’t watch live, all games that are streamed on ESPN+ are also available to be watched afterwards on-demand via ESPN.com or the ESPN app.
Furman vs UNC Wilmington Preview
The No. 23 Paladins (11-0) are easily the biggest surprise of the young 2018-19 season. Not only is the squad from Greenville, South Carolina, undefeated and ranked in the top 25 for the first time in school history, they’ve beaten two teams who were in last season’s Final Four: the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers and the defending champion Villanova Wildcats, who were ranked eighth in the nation when they fell to Furman.
For the first time ever on Tuesday, the school played host at Timmons Arena while ranked.
“The fear of if we lose, does all this go away,” Paladins head coach Richey said, according to the Associated Press. “And I think that’s normal for a young player — ‘Man, we want to keep this going.'”
Keep it going they did, and without a single point from their leading scorer, Jordan Lyons.
The junior guard entered Tuesday night averaging 20.2 points per game. He went 0-for-7 as his team pulled away from the Charleston Southern Buccaneers for a 77-69 victory.
Senior forward Matt Rafferty — who leads the team in rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks and is second on the team in scoring — dropped 14 and pulled down as many rebounds. He also recorded six dimes, four steals, and three blocks. Sophomore guard Alex Hunter led the way with 17, while freshman forward Noah Gurley and senior guard Andrew Brown added 16 apiece.
“We’ve got to stay even-keeled,” Hunter said, per AP. “That’s something we’ve been practicing every day.”
The Paladins rely on ball movement and the ability to stroke from deep. Their 17.6 assists per game are good for 23rd in the nation, out of 353 teams, and their 1.46 assist-to-turnover ratio is 31st. They’ve also made 113 three-pointers, the ninth-highest mark in the nation. As a result, they score 82.8 points per contest, 41st in college basketball.
UNC Wilmington (4-5) can put up points, too — their 80.7 per game are good for 64th in the country. The problem is they surrender 80.9 per game, the 25th-worst mark.
It’ll be the second matchup with a ranked opponent in a row for the Seahawks, who fell to the No. 14 North Carolina Tar Heels on the road on Wednesday night.
“UNC came at us with their double teams, pressure, and length,” UNC Wilmington head coach C.B. McGrath said, according to The Seahawk. “We let that bother us more than we should have.”
The team’s leading scorer, Devontae Cacok, struggled, going 2-of-10 from the field for six points and turning the ball over five times without recording an assist.
“[Cacok] is a big piece of what we do, so if he struggles we just have to come together and be a little more focused,” junior guard Ty Taylor said, per The Seahawk.