Patriots brush past Bearcats with first-half outburst

FLORENCE, SC – Fueled by perhaps its best overall half of the season, Francis Marion University took a 24-point halftime advantage and cruised to a 71-54 win over first-place Lander University, Wednesday night (Feb. 3) in Peach Belt Conference men's basketball action.

Francis Marion wins for the fifth time in its last six outings and ups its overall mark to 14-8, while staking claim to a share of third place in the East Division standings with a 6-7 mark.  The Bearcats fall to 16-6 overall and 10-3 in the PBC.

WATCH GAME REPLAY

FMU will celebrate Homecoming 2016 on Saturday with a 3:30 p.m. tip-off against Flagler College.  Admission to all Homecoming contests is free.

Sophomore swingman Mike Davis Jr. led the Patriots with 24 points on 9-of-18 shooting, including five three-pointers.  Sophomore guard Detrek Browning scored 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting, including a quartet of three-pointers, while junior guard Alante Fenner added 14 points (on 6-of-12 shooting) and six rebounds off the FMU bench.

Junior guard JR Washington paced Lander with 19 points, while senior Tobiasz Hose tallied 10 points and nine rebounds.

Francis Marion scored the game's first two buckets and never trailed.  The lead quickly swelled to 15-4 as Lander missed on 10 of its first 11 field goal attempts.  Davis Jr. scored 11 of FMU's first 13 points much to the delight of a season-high crowd of 1,389 in the Smith University Center.

A pair of free throws by Fenner further ballooned the margin to 34-10 with five left before halftime.  The Patriots settled for a 43-19 halftime lead as FMU held Lander to 27.6 percent shooting over the opening 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, Francis Marion shot 54.8 percent, including 7-of-12 from three-point range.

FMU registered its largest lead at 59-30 following a lay-in by Fenner with 11:17 left.  A 23-7 run by the Bearcats did trim the margin to 13 points (66-53) with 3:28 remaining, but that was as close as Lander would get.  The Patriots closed the game with a 5-1 spurt as Lander missed its final six shots.

For the game, Francis Marion shot 44.6 percent from the floor, was 10-of-28 from behind the arc, and canned a meager 3-of-4 at the foul line.  Lander shot 30.0 percent, was 6-of-22 from long range, and hit 12-of-18 free throws.

For the fourth straight year, the two programs have split their season series, a series that dates back to 1970 and which Lander leads 52-43.

 
 

2-3-16 7:50 pm at Florence, SC (Smith University Center)
FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY 71, LANDER UNIVERSITY 54
LANDER UNIVERSITY (16-6 , 10-3 PBC)
JR Washington 5-19 4-4 19; Tobiasz Hose 5-16 0-2 10; Sergio Smith 3-5 2-4 8;
Matthew McClain 2-4 0-1 5; Scott Elder 0-2 4-4 4; Rahu Purdie 1-4 2-2 4;
Telvin Gabriel 1-2 0-0 2; Travis Fredimon 1-6 0-0 2; Jarryd Coleman 0-0 0-0
0; Taylor Buffkin 0-1 0-0 0; Tyree King 0-1 0-1 0. Totals 18-60 12-18 54.
FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY (14-8 , 6-7 PBC)
Mike Davis Jr. 9-18 1-2 24; Detrek Browning 7-14 0-0 18; Alante Fenner 6-12
2-2 14; Judah Alexander 2-5 0-0 4; Samson Nnaji 2-3 0-0 4; A.J. Jackson 1-6
0-0 3; Brandon Parker 1-3 0-0 2; Kenneth Jackson 1-1 0-0 2; Alex Bryant 0-1
0-0 0; Mykel Harris 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 29-65 3-4 71.
Halftime: Francis Marion 43 Lander 19
3-point goals--Lander University 6-22 (JR Washington 5-14; Matthew McClain
1-2; Travis Fredimon 0-3; Tobiasz Hose 0-3), Francis Marion University 10-28
(Mike Davis Jr. 5-13; Detrek Browning 4-7; A.J. Jackson 1-5; Brandon Parker
0-1; Alante Fenner 0-2). Fouled out--Lander University-None, Francis Marion
University-None. Rebounds--Lander University 34 (Tobiasz Hose 9), Francis
Marion University 42 (Judah Alexander 9). Assists--Lander University 11
(Travis Fredimon 3), Francis Marion University 17 (A.J. Jackson 4). Total
fouls--Lander 13, Francis Marion 18. Technical fouls--None. A-1389
Charges Drawn: Nnaji, Elder