USCA Men hold off Francis Marion for 80-68 win

(PHOTO by Jeff Smith)

FLORENCE, SC – USC Aiken built a 23-point second-half lead and then held off a late Francis Marion University rally to capture an 80-68 win, Saturday afternoon (Feb. 21) in Peach Belt Conference men's basketball action.

FMU drops to 13-14 overall and 5-13 in the PBC.  The loss, before a Homecoming and Senior Day crowd of 1,742, eliminated the Patriots from contention for a PBC post-season tournament berth.  Francis Marion will close out its 2014-15 season on Wednesday with a 7:30 p.m. contest at nationally ranked UNC Pembroke.

WATCH GAME REPLAY

Junior Dii'Jon Allen-Jordan paced the Patriots with 24 points and seven rebounds.  The 6-6 forward connected on 10-of-18 field goal attempts.  Freshman point guard Detrek Browning tallied 15 points, eight rebounds, and five assists, while freshman swingman A.J. Jackson added 11 points and five rebounds.

Prior to the game, FMU recognized its three seniors who were playing their final home game: point guard David Brown, swingman Dustin Jones, and forward Luka Zivkovic.

Junior forward Dominic Early led USCA (13-14, 8-10) with 23 points and seven rebounds.  Junior guard Andre' Anthony scored 16 points as four Pacers reached double digits.

The Pacers scored the game's first five points and never trailed.  FMU hit on only one of its first 11 shots in trailing 16-3.  USCA held a 44-23 advantage at halftime as FMU shot only 31 percent over the opening 20 minutes compared to 53.3 percent for the Pacers.

The margin grew to 55-32 early in the second stanza after a three-pointer by Anthony.  The lead was still 18 points, 64-46, with 11:27 remaining when Francis Marion began chipping away at the deficit.  A layup by Browning capped a 13-2 rally by FMU that trimmed the margin to 67-61 with 6:38 left.

The margin was eight points, 71-63, with three minutes left when Early beat an expiring shot with a dagger three-point that pushed the USCA lead back to double figures where it would remain.

Francis Marion warmed to shoot 54.5 percent in the second stanza and finished the game at 43.5 percent.  The Patriots were 5-of-22 on three-point attempts and 9-of-16 at the charity stripe.  USCA shot 52.6 percent from the field, was 10-of-25 from beyond the arc, and hit 10-of-16 free throws.

The Patriots did hold an 18-2 advantage in fast-break points and committed only seven turnovers.

 

2-21-15 3:55 pm at Florence, SC (Smith University Center)
USC AIKEN 80, FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY 68
USC AIKEN (13-14 , 8-10 PBC)
Dominic Early 9-14 4-6 23; Andre' Anthony 5-10 2-2 16; Jordan Foster 5-11
0-0 14; Hendrix Emu 5-5 2-2 12; Tyreece Brice 3-4 0-0 6; Albert Miller iii
1-1 0-0 3; Rashad Lewis 1-8 0-0 2; Caleb Stewart 0-2 2-4 2; Arbry Butler 1-2
0-2 2. Totals 30-57 10-16 80.
FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY (13-14 , 5-13 PBC)
Dii'Jon Allen-Jordan 10-18 4-6 24; Detrek Browning 5-14 4-4 15; A.J. Jackson
5-10 0-0 11; Mike Davis Jr. 3-8 0-0 7; Dustin Jones 2-4 0-0 6; David Jerome
1-1 0-2 2; Luka Zivkovic 1-4 0-1 2; David Brown 0-3 1-2 1; Alex Bryant 0-0
0-1 0; Judah Alexander 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-62 9-16 68.
Halftime: USC Aiken 44 Francis Marion 23
3-point goals--USC Aiken 10-25 (Andre' Anthony 4-8; Jordan Foster 4-8;
Albert Miller iii 1-1; Dominic Early 1-1; Caleb Stewart 0-2; Rashad Lewis
0-5), Francis Marion University 5-22 (Dustin Jones 2-4; Mike Davis Jr. 1-4;
A.J. Jackson 1-5; Detrek Browning 1-5; David Brown 0-1; Luka Zivkovic 0-1;
Dii'Jon Allen-Jordan 0-2). Fouled out--USC Aiken-None, Francis Marion
University-None. Rebounds--USC Aiken 40 (Hendrix Emu 8), Francis Marion
University 29 (Detrek Browning 8). Assists--USC Aiken 21 (Rashad Lewis 9),
Francis Marion University 10 (Detrek Browning 5). Total fouls--USC Aiken 17,
Francis Marion University 15. Technical fouls--None. A-1742