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Lyons leads Furman to stunning upset of No. 8 Villanova

November 18, 2018

VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) — Jordan Lyons scored 17 points, Matt Rafferty and Clay Mounce each had 15, and Furman stunned defending national champion Villanova in overtime, 76-68, on Saturday.

Noah Gurley and Alex Hunter added 13 points apiece for the surging Paladins, who have started 5-0 for the first time in 30 years.

Phil Booth scored 20 points and Colin Gillespie had 19 for the No. 8 Wildcats, who were coming off a 27-point loss to Michigan in a rematch of April’s national championship game. It marked the first time Villanova lost back-to-back home games since December of 2013.

Lyons and Rafferty delivered huge buckets in overtime to key a 7-0 spurt that put the Paladins ahead 69-63 in the final minute, enough cushion for them to hang on for the victory in front of a shocked sellout crowd at the recently renovated Finneran Pavilion.

Trailing 58-53 with under four minutes to play in regulation, Joe Cremo hit a 3-pointer, Booth scored and Gillespie made a layup in transition to put Villanova in front, 60-58, in the final minute.

After Lyons hit two free throws to tie the game at 60, Booth missed on the other end and Hunter misfired on a long 3-pointer in the final seconds. Cremo was called for a foul while going for the rebound, but Rafferty couldn’t connect on the front end of a 1-and-1 with 2.6 seconds left, setting the game up for OT.

Two days after pouring in 54 points while matching an NCAA record with 15 3-pointers, Lyons had a slew of big buckets, including one that put Furman ahead 48-46 with a little over 8 minutes remaining.

After Booth scored five straight points for ’Nova, Hunter tied it back up with a 3-pointer before Furman pulled ahead 55-51 on four straight points from Gurley. Another big 3 from Hunter gave the Paladins a five-point lead with just over four minutes to play as Furman looked completely unfazed by Villanova’s notoriously hostile home venue.

BIG PICTURE

Furman: The Paladins are looking to be a dominant mid-major squad and big-team killer. In their only other road game of the season, they upset another 2018 Final Four participant, Loyola-Chicago, on a last-second dunk.

Villanova: After losing four players from last year’s national championship squad to the NBA draft, coach Jay Wright continues to search for his best rotation. On Saturday, freshman Jahvon Quinerly, a five-star recruit, didn’t get in the game after playing key minutes in Villanova’s first three games. The Wildcats’ depth took a hit Friday when the team announced that redshirt sophomore Dylan Painter will transfer.

UP NEXT

Furman hosts Southern Wesleyan on Wednesday.

Villanova faces Canisius in the Advocare Invitational in Orlando on Thanksgiving.

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