Francis Marion picks up miraculous OT win over USCA 86-82

Francis Marion picks up miraculous OT win over USCA 86-82

FLORENCE, SC – Francis Marion University senior forward Warren Specht forced overtime with a fade-away three-pointer at the horn and senior guard Detrek Browning scored six of his game-high 36 points in the extra session as the Patriots prevailed 86-82 over USC Aiken, Wednesday night (Jan. 31) in Peach Belt Conference men's basketball action.

Francis Marion ups its overall record to 13-6 and its PBC mark to 8-6, while the Pacers drop to 10-8 and 7-7.  Both teams entered the game tied for fourth place in the conference standings.

FMU will play its next two games on the road: Saturday afternoon (Feb. 3) at Clayton State University in a 3:30 p.m. tip-off and Feb. 7 at Lander University in a 7:30 p.m. start.  The Patriots' next home game will be Feb. 10 against the University of North Georgia at 3:30 p.m.

Browning connected on 13-of-24 field goal attempts, including 5-of-9 from behind the three-point arc, and was 5-of-6 at the free throw stripe.  In registering his fifth 30-point contest of the season, he extended his school-record career point total to 2,107.  He also picked up a game-high four steals.

Junior swingman Brandon Parker followed Browning with 12 points and seven rebounds, while junior Ryan Davis tallied nine points, eight rebounds, and five assists.

Guard Doniel Dean led USCA with 22 points, six rebounds, and five assists, while reserve Markus Terry chipped in 16 points.

FMU trailed 74-71 with 21.5 seconds left in regulation, but owned possession of the ball.  Browning missed a three-pointer from near the top-of-the-key with six seconds on the clock, but the ball caromed to Specht who carried the ball back behind the arc and hit the game-tying three-pointer while falling into the Patriot bench as the horn sounded while the crown of 1,036 in the Smith University Center roared.

In overtime, Davis scored on a fast-break lay-up and Browning recorded five straight points to lift FMU to an 81-74 advantage.  However, the Pacers rallied to trim the margin to 84-82 with 1:13 left after a pair of free throws by Terry.

USCA survived two Patriot misses on the following sequence and held possession of the ball, still down two, with 9.3 ticks left on the clock.  After a pair of Pacer timeouts, FMU senior center Judah Alexander stole the inbounds pass and slammed home the icing bucket with six seconds remaining.

Francis Marion shot 40.8 percent for the game, including 10-of-25 from three-point territory, and the Patriots hit 14-of-21 free throws.  USCA connected on 43.5 percent of its field goal attempts, was 9-of-24 from long range, and shot 19-of-27 at the foul stripe.

Despite holding a slim 44-40 rebounding advantage, Francis Marion led 20-3 in second-chance points – none bigger than Specht's tying shot.  FMU also led 25-9 in fast-break points.

FMU scored the game's opening seven points and raced to a 12-2 lead as the Pacers missed six of their first seven shots.  A three-pointer by Browning extended the lead to 15-4 at the 15:08 mark.  Another jumper by Browning kept the margin at 11 points (20-9) with 13 minutes left before halftime.

However a 13-1 run by USC Aiken erased that lead and gave the Pacers their first lead at 22-21.  USCA closed the first half on a 15-4 spurt that gave the Pacers a 37-30 advantage at intermission.

The margin swelled to nine points (41-32) moments into the second stanza.  Trailing 46-38, Francis Marion responded with a 14-2 run to retake the lead at 52-48 with 12:41 remaining.  Browning fueled the run with eight points.

The Patriots would extend their lead to 61-54 after a three-pointer from the right corner by sophomore Kendall Wall.  USCA answered with 10 straight points to assume a 64-61 advantage.  Neither team would lead by more than one possession for the remainder of regulation and there would be five ties.

In the overtime, FMU connected on 5-of-8 field goal attempts, while the Pacers made only 1-of-5.

1-3s1-18 7:37 pm at Florence, SC (Smith University Center)
USC AIKEN (10-8 , 7-7 PBC)
Doniel Dean 8-17 5-5 22; Markus Terry 4-7 6-7 16; Paris Ballinger 3-10 4-6
11; Faison Brock 3-5 2-3 10; Henry Bolton III 3-9 1-2 8; Austin Grimes 2-5
1-1 5; Robert Hill 2-5 0-3 4; Nenad Milenkovic 1-2 0-0 3; Kyle Tackeberry
1-2 0-0 3. Totals 27-62 19-27 82.
Detrek Browning 13-24 5-6 36; Brandon Parker 3-8 3-3 12; Ryan Davis 3-8 3-3
9; Judah Alexander 3-8 1-4 7; Warren Specht 3-11 0-2 7; Kingsley Nwagboso
3-6 0-0 6; Kendall Wall 2-3 0-0 5; Jaquez Smith 1-8 2-3 4. Totals 31-76
14-21 86.
Halftime: USCA 37 Francis Marion 30.  Regulation 74-74

3-point goals--USC Aiken 9-24 (Markus Terry 2-4; Faison Brock 2-4; Nenad
Milenkovic 1-2; Henry Bolton III 1-4; Paris Ballinger 1-5; Kyle Tackeberry
1-2; Doniel Dean 1-3), Francis Marion University 10-25 (Detrek Browning 5-9;
Brandon Parker 3-5; Kendall Wall 1-2; Warren Specht 1-5; Jaquez Smith 0-2;
Ryan Davis 0-2). Fouled out--USC Aiken-None, Francis Marion
University-Brandon Parker; Warren Specht. Rebounds--USC Aiken 40 (Robert
Hill 10), Francis Marion University 44 (Ryan Davis 8). Assists--USC Aiken 14
(Doniel Dean 5), Francis Marion University 17 (Jaquez Smith 6). Total
fouls--USC Aiken 16, Francis Marion University 24. Technical fouls--None. A-1036
Charges Drawn: Brock 2, Grimes, Tackeberry