COLUMBUS, GA – Freshman swingman Mike Davis Jr. scored a career-high equaling 21 points to lead three players in double figures, but Francis Marion University could not overcome a hot-shooting Columbus State University squad and the Patriots dropped an 85-73 decision, Saturday afternoon (Jan. 3) in Peach Belt Conference men's basketball action.
FMU (7-4, 0-3) will play its first home game of the New Year on Monday night when the Patriots entertain GRU Augusta at 7:30 p.m.
Davis was 7-of-14 from the field, including a trio of three-pointers. Junior forward Dii'Jon Allen-Jordan followed Davis with 19 points and 11 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. Freshman point guard Detrek Browning added 12 points.
Kenney Funderburk led three CSU players in double digits with a career-high 27 points. The Cougars are off to their best start under head coach Robert Moore at 9-2 overall and 3-1 in the Peach Belt.
FMU shot 36.8 percent from the floor, while Columbus State connected on 54.5 percent of its shots. The Patriots were 17-of-28 at the foul line, while CSU was 22-of-31. Both teams registered 38 rebounds and Francis Marion committed one more turnover than the Cougars, 16-15.
Francis Marion held the lead in the early stages, including an 11-7 margin following an Allen-Jordan free throw at the 13:41 mark. A dunk by Tim Dixon ignited an 8-0 Columbus State run that erased a 15-13 FMU lead and put the Cougars ahead for good. A three-pointer by Davis just before the halftime horn pulled the Patriots to within 36-32 at intermission.
The Cougars scored the opening seven points of the second stanza to open a double-figure lead. A three-point play by Browning got FMU to within three points – the first of three such occasions – at 57-54 with 9:08 remaining. The final three-point margin came at 61-58, but CSU's B.J. Battle nailed back-to-back three-pointers to provide the Cougars with some breathing room and FMU would get no closer than seven points for the rest of the contest.
CSU shot 58 percent from the field over the final 20 minutes.