GREENWOOD, SC – Lander University outscored Francis Marion University 27-6 over the final nine minutes of the first half and then held off a late rally by the Patriots to capture an 80-67 win, Saturday afternoon (Jan. 28) in Peach Belt Conference men's basketball action.
The Patriots dip to 7-12 overall and 3-8 in the Peach Belt. FMU will open a three-game homestand on Monday with a 7:30 p.m. tip-off against local-rival UNC Pembroke as the Patriots celebrate McDonald's Night in the Smith University Center.
Junior guard Detrek Browning led Francis Marion with 20 points, while junior forward Judah Alexander tallied 13 points and seven rebounds and senior center Kenneth Jackson added 10 points. Browning pushed his career point to 1,442, only 13 shy of tying Franklin Bellamy for 10th place on the FMU career scoring list.
JR Washington led six Bearcats in double figures with 14 points as the Bearcats improved to 7-12 and 4-6.
Behind five points from Browning, FMU took an early 8-2 lead. Lander quickly rallied to tie the score at 10-10. A three-pointer by junior Josh Council restored the Patriot advantage to six at 23-17 with 9:16 left before halftime. The Bearcats then scored the game's next nine points, 19 of the next 21, and eventually 27 of 33 to carry a 44-29 lead into the locker room at intermission.
The margin swelled to 20 points at 61-41 with 12:25 left on the clock, but an 8-2 run that included a pair of three-pointers from Browning, trimmed the Patriot deficit to 14 nearing the midway point of the second half. However, Lander recovered and quickly pushed its advantage back to 20.
A 14-0 spurt by Francis Marion in the final minutes cut the lead from 23 to nine after Browning made a three-pointer from the right corner with 1:07 remaining, but that was as close as the Patriots would get.
FMU shot 42.2 percent from the field, including 5-of-21 from behind the arc, while Lander hit on 48.4 percent of its shots and made half of its 20 three-point attempts. Both teams made eight free throws.