FLORENCE, SC – A late 6-0 run allowed Augusta University to break a tie game with 2:25 remaining and the Jaguars went on to claim an 85-80 win over Francis Marion University, Saturday afternoon (Jan. 21) in Peach Belt Conference men's basketball action.
The Patriots (6-11, 2-7) held the lead for the majority of the contest, but were unable to pull off the upset. The 15-3 Jaguars temporarily assume sole possession of first place in the East Division standings with an 8-2 league mark.
FMU will play road contests at Flagler College on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and at Lander University on Jan. 28 at 3:30 p.m., before returning home to entertain local rival UNC Pembroke on Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Junior point guard Detrek Browning led Francis Marion with 22 points, and in the process passed former Patriot standout Marcel Boggs to move into 11th place on the program's career scoring list with 1,393 points.
Sophomore swingman Brandon Parker followed Browning with 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc, for his third double-digit effort in the past four games. Junior forward Judah Alexander added 13 points and seven rebounds.
Guard Tyvez Monroe led the Jaguars with 19 points, including six in the final 2:25. Both Deane Williams and Keshun Sherrill scored 15 points apiece.
A jumper by Monroe broke a late 73-73 deadlock and gave Augusta the lead for good. Two free throws by Monroe and layup by Sherrill extended the margin to 79-73 in the final minute. A long three-pointer by Browning brought the Patriots to within 79-76 with 34 ticks on the clock, but Monroe answered with a free-throw line jumper that pushed the advantage to five points (81-76) with only 16 seconds remaining.
Neither team led by more than one possession over the first 10 minutes of the game. A three-pointer by Sherrill gave the Jaguars a 25-21 advantage, but FMU answered with five straight points to go on top 26-25. Augusta responded with its own 8-0 spurt to assume a 33-26 lead with 6:57 left before halftime.
Browning accounted for Francis Marion's final 10 points of the stanza, all in a span of 2:09, to lift the Patriots to a 42-40 advantage at intermission.
FMU led by seven (50-43) in the early stages of the second half, but Augusta rallied to knot the score at 52-52. A banked in three-pointer by junior forward Warren Specht gave FMU a 64-58 lead with 9:35 left, but again the Jaguars rallied to tie the contest at 64-64.
Francis Marion connected on 47.5 percent of its shots, including 12-of-23 three-point attempts, and was 10-of-15 at the foul line. Augusta shot 49.3 percent from the floor, including 6-of-15 from long distance, and hit 13-of-20 free throws.
The game featured 13 ties and 15 lead changes.