The surprising Furman Paladins will visit the East Tennessee State Buccaneers on Saturday.
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–including Furman vs ETSU–that are streamed on ESPN+ are also available to be watched afterwards on-demand via ESPN.com or the ESPN app.
Furman vs East Tennessee State Preview
The Paladins opened their season with 12 straight wins and were ranked as high as No. 23 before falling on the road against LSU 75-57 back on December 21.
The Tigers outrebounded Furman 40-22 (12-8 on the offensive glass) and shot 55.4 percent from the field to the Paladins’ 37.5 percent.
“LSU played an extremely physical game. They’ve got a lot of size and they took advantage of it,” Furman head coach Bob Richey said, according to the Associated Press. “They doubled us up on the glass and had 50 points in the paint. It’s a pretty simple game plan. They were able to get it up on the rim, chase it, and then get some put-backs.”
Sophomore forward Clay Mounce, who entered the contest averaging 12.9 points per game, fouled out in 19 minutes of action and failed to score, shooting 0-of-2 from the field. Senior big man Matt Rafferty, who went into the matchup scoring 17.2 points per contest, went 4-of-7 for nine points.
“(Marlon) Taylor did a good job starting out on Mounce,” LSU head coach Will Wade said, according to The Advocate. “And Kavell (Bigby-Willians) was huge, he did great. Us being able to guard Rafferty one-on-one and not have to commit two people to him was huge.”
LSU guards Skylar Mays and Tremont Waters combined to score 36 points. Bigby-Williams and fellow Tigers big man Naz Reid grabbed 10 boards apiece.
“They’ve got more stars than some of these recruits in the Big Dipper,” Richey said, according to Mid-Major Madness. “You’ve got guys that are huge, so they did what they do. Unfortunately, we don’t have high-major size. We got three rebounds total at the 4 spot tonight, and they were able to capitalize.”
Rebounding could once again prove to be a challenge for Furman against East Tennessee State, who are seventh in the nation in boards per game, at 43.2.
Freshman Jeromy Rodriguez, a 6’7″ forward, is fourth in the country in individual rebounding, pulling down 11.7 per game. Mladen Armus, a 6’10” sophomore, grabs 7.7 per contest.
The Buccaneers (10-4) recently won the Don Haskins Sun Bowl Tournament by defeating Wyoming then Norfolk State.
Junior guard Tray Boyd III scored a game-high 24 points off the bench in the championship game, an 89-61 victory.
“We got some easy baskets off turnovers and we were attacking their zone,” Buccaneers head coach Steve Forbes said, according to the Johnson City Press. “Going into the (Christmas) break, it was as well played a game as I can remember. We have a goal of eight non-conference wins and this team now has 10 non-conference wins.
“I’m proud of this team. We’ve still got things to work on, but we will reconvene and get ready for Furman on December 29.”