FMU edges Lakers 82-79 in thriller orchestrated by Jackson

FLORENCE, SC – Senior center Kenneth Jackson scored on go-ahead jump hook with 25 seconds left and then took a charge at the defensive end eight seconds later to help Francis Marion University rally for an 82-79 Peach Belt Conference win over Clayton State University, Saturday afternoon (Jan. 7) in men's basketball action.

FMU (5-7, 1-3) registers its first conference win and now takes to the road for a pair of PBC match-ups: at Georgia College on Monday night at 7:30 p.m. and at USC Aiken on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.  The next home contest for the Patriots will be Saturday, Jan. 14, at 3:30 p.m. against the University of North Georgia.

Jackson finished with 13 points, a team-high nine rebounds, and three blocked shots coming off the FMU bench and was one of five Patriots to score in double figures.  Junior forward Warren Specht tallied 19 points for the second straight game to lead Francis Marion, while junior guard Detrek Browning scored 17, junior forward Judah Alexander 14, and freshman guard Jaquez Smith a career-high 12.

Both Browning and Smith handed out six assists apiece.


Forward Jaumonee Byrd led Clayton State (7-6, 2-2) with 20 points and nine rebounds, while junior guard Nathan Powell scored 15 points.

Jackson's jump hook from 10 feet out gave Francis Marion its first lead of the game at 80-79 and on the ensuing possession he drew a charging foul on Alfonso Davis with 17.1 seconds left.  Specht then completed his perfect night at the free throw line (8-of-8) with two charity tosses to up the FMU advantage to 82-79 with 16.1 ticks on the clock. Following a Laker timeout, Dantez Bennamon missed on a long three-pointer just before the final horn sounded.

Francis Marion shot 43.1 percent from the floor, including 6-of-21 from three-point range, and was a near perfect 22-of-22 at the foul line.  The Lakers connected on 45.7 percent of its shots, including 5-of-15 from beyond the arc.

Clayton State connected on 10 of its first 13 field goal attempts and jumped to an early 23-10 lead.  Eight consecutive points by the Patriots trimmed the deficit to 23-18 with 7:43 left before halftime.  The Lakers stretched their lead back to double digits at 31-20, but an 8-2 spurt by FMU cut the margin to five at 33-28.  However, the Lakers closed the half with seven straight points to lead 40-28 at intermission.

Francis Marion opened the second stanza with its own 13-4 spurt to trail only 44-41 after a Browning three-pointer.  Again the Lakers extended their lead back to double figures, this time at 70-56 with 9:05 remaining.  Jackson and Smith each contributed five points to a 14-2 run that brought FMU to within 72-70 with 5:48 on the clock.

A jumper by Davis gave Clayton State a 78-74 lead with two minutes left, but buckets by backcourt mates Smith and Browning knotted the contest at 78-78 entering the final minute.  Powell made one of two free throws with 44.7 seconds left to put the Lakers up 79-78 and setting the stage for Jackson's heroics. 

Clayton State made its first eight free throws of the game, but was only 2-of-6 over the final five minutes.

FMU converted its 17 offensive rebounds into 15 second-chance points.


1/7/17 3:50 pm at Florence, SC (Smith University Center)
Byrd,Jaumonee 9-13 2-2 20; Powell,Nathan 7-12 1-2 15; Davis,Alfonso 4-12 6-8
14; Joseph,Kendall 4-6 1-1 11; Nairn,Christoff 2-2 0-0 6; Bennamon,Dantez
3-10 0-1 6; Scott,Mike 2-7 0-0 5; Moore,Darrius 1-1 0-0 2; Johnson,Tj 0-2
0-0 0; Kincey,Kyle 0-1 0-0 0; White,Maurice 0-1 0-0 0; Taylor,Jaylen 0-3 0-0
0. Totals 32-70 10-14 79.
Warren Specht 5-14 8-8 19; Detrek Browning 5-12 4-4 17; Judah Alexander 5-11
4-4 14; Kenneth Jackson 6-10 0-0 13; Jaquez Smith 5-11 1-1 12; Nigel Holley
2-7 1-3 5; Daniel Bridges 0-0 2-2 2; John Jenkins 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-65
20-22 82.
Halftime: Clayton State 40 Francis Marion 28
3-point goals--Clayton State Univ. 5-15 (Nairn,Christoff 2-2; Joseph,Kendall
2-3; Scott,Mike 1-4; Bennamon,Dantez 0-3; White,Maurice 0-1; Davis,Alfonso
0-1; Powell,Nathan 0-1), Francis Marion University 6-21 (Detrek Browning
3-9; Kenneth Jackson 1-3; Warren Specht 1-5; Jaquez Smith 1-3; Nigel Holley
0-1). Fouled out--Clayton State Univ.-None, Francis Marion University-Nigel
Holley. Rebounds--Clayton State Univ. 34 (Byrd,Jaumonee 9), Francis Marion
University 40 (Kenneth Jackson 9). Assists--Clayton State Univ. 20
(Nairn,Christoff 4; Davis,Alfonso 4), Francis Marion University 18 (Jaquez
Smith 6; Detrek Browning 6). Total fouls--Clayton State Univ. 20, Francis
Marion University 19. Technical fouls--None. A-566