(OWENSBORO, Ky.) – In its first meeting ever with the historic Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers, it was the Walsh Cavaliers that came away with a 79-69 victory. The Cavs improved to 8-3 overall and 5-2 in the conference, while Wesleyan dropped to 9-6 and 4-2 in the same categories.
Walsh has now won three consecutive and snapped a six-game win streak by the Panthers.
Bo Furcon started off the new year as about as well as anyone could imagine with a career-best 33 points as he was 12-of-22 from the field with three 3-pointers and eight rebounds. It's the second time in the last three games that Furcron has scored at least 32 points.
He wasn't the only star on the floor for Walsh, however, as another balanced attack helped the Cavs end up ahead. Sterling Christy was a rebound shy of a double-double with 11 points. Chandler Vaudrin also scored in double-figures with 10 points.
On the glass, Andy Lucien pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds and dished out four assists to match his career-best.
The trio of Lucien, Christy, and Furcron alone out-rebounded the entire Panther team 27-26. With the rest of the Cavaliers, Walsh dominated the boards by a 43-26 margin. Of those, 17 were on the offensive end that translated into 15 second-chance points. Walsh also controlled the paint by a 40-30 difference.
The action was back-and-forth for most of the first half with five ties and seven lead changes. The final change came with 4:52 to go in the first half when Furcron drained a 3-pointer to give the Cavs a 25-24 lead.
It started a small 8-0 run by Furcron alone as less than a minute later, he hit another triple. Just 35 seconds later, a steal and an assist by Vaurdin led to a Furcron layup.
Kentucky Wesleyan had three starters score at least 17 points, but the remaining starters and bench combined for just 14 points.
Malek Harris led that crew with 20 points and was 7-of-12 from the field. Evan Milligan gave the Panthers a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Walsh continues its longest road trip of the season and will head to Nashville to take on Trevecca. It will be just the second-meeting all-time between the two schools as they last met during the 1974-75 season with Cavs coming out a 92-84 victor. Tip-off from Music City is set for 1 p.m. eastern.