The AU women’s basketball defeated Furman University 78-57 on Tuesday night, their largest margin of victory of the season. The win improves the Eagles to 2-3 at Bender Arena and 3-6 overall.
Right out of the gate, the Eagles looked like the stronger team on the court. Nicole Ryan opened the scoring on a jump shot only one minute into the game to give the Eagles an early 2-0 lead.
While the Paladins would tie the game 2-2 only 90 seconds later, this would be as close as Furman would get all half as the Eagles would go on an opening 8-2 run to take a 10-4 lead heading into the first media timeout.
Throughout the rest of the opening period, the Eagles would continue their hot shooting, going up by as many as 16 points at times before taking a commanding 40-24 lead into halftime, their largest of the season.
Both Ryan and teammate Liz Hayes were able to score in double digits in the half, with Ryan connecting on three of four from beyond the arc and Hayes hitting on five of her first nine shots.
The Eagles continued their hot streak heading out of the break, going on a 12-4 run to stretch their lead to 26, their largest of the game.
Although the Paladins would follow this with a 9-2 run of their own to cut AU’s lead to 17 with 13 minutes remaining in the second half, this would be as close as Furman would get for the entire game.
AU would outscore Furman 24-20 from this point forward, taking a 21-point lead to end the game 78-57.
Liz Hayes continued her strong shooting in the second half as well, going four of nine, including two three-pointers, to finish with a game-high 20 points. Ryan would only add three foul shots to her game total in the half but still finished with 14 points overall.
As a team, AU shot much better than they had in previous games, finishing with a 47.5 percentage from the floor, making 10 three-pointers along the way. The Eagles were also able to shoot 76.9 percent from the free throw line.
After winning two of their first three, the Eagles will conclude their four-game home stand on Friday night, when they take on the George Mason Patriots at Bender Arena. The game tips off at 7 p.m.