FLORENCE, SC – Senior guard Detrek Browning scored 24 points to move into second place on the Peach Belt Conference career scoring list and more importantly led five Francis Marion University players in double figures as the Patriots pulled away in the second half to register an 83-54 win over the University of North Georgia, Wednesday night (Feb. 28) in the quarterfinal round of the 2018 PBC Men's Basketball Tournament.
The victory gave Francis Marion (20-8) its first 20-win campaign since the 2003-04 Sweet 16 squad. FMU, seeded third, now advances to the tournament semifinals where the Patriots will face second-seeded UNC Pembroke on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on the campus of Clayton State University in Morrow, Ga. The tournament title game will also be in Morrow on Sunday afternoon.
In Wednesday's other quarterfinal contests, top-seeded and 25th-ranked Clayton State edged eighth-seeded Columbus State University 89-83, second-seeded and 24th-ranked UNCP beat seventh-seeded Georgia Southwestern State University 70-54, and fifth-seeded USC Aiken surprised fourth-seeded Augusta University 89-79.
Browning connected on 9-of-13 field goal attempts, while also tallying five assists and five steals. He pushed his career point total to 2,318 and passed former Augusta standout Ben Madgen for second place on the PBC scoring list. He needs only 16 points to pass Augusta's Keshun Sherrill for the top spot.
Junior Brandon Parker followed Browning with 16 points, while senior forward Warren Specht scored 14. Senior 6-7 center Judah Alexander scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds in his final home appearance and junior guard Ryan Davis recorded 12 points, eight rebounds, and six assists off the FMU bench. Alexander secured sole possession of 25th place on the Patriot scoring list 901 points.
Senior Tyler Dominy led the sixth-seeded Nighthawks (12-17) with 13 points, while Ephraim Tshimanga added 10 points.
UNG scored the game first two hoops and led 11-9 after a three-pointer by Ebo Smith with 16:13 left in the opening half. Seven straight points by the Patriots – including five from Alexander – gave Francis Marion the lead for good. Just past the midway point of the stanza, FMU used 14-5 spurt to expand a four-point lead to 38-25. The Patriots held a 42-30 edge at halftime as both squad shots 50 percent or better from the floor. Parker accounted for the final points on a tip-in that just beat the buzzer.
Six straight points to open the second half swelled the margin to 18 points at the 16:14 mark. A three-point play by Tshimanga cut the lead to 13 at 50-37 with 13:46 remaining, but Davis ignited a 15-2 run that gave the Patriots a commanding 65-39 lead with 9:31 on the clock.
FMU's largest lead was 33 points at 83-50 following a jumper by Specht with 1:18 remaining.
Francis Marion finished the game shooting 52.5 percent from the floor, including 7-of-22 from behind the three-point arc, and the Patriots drained 12-of-13 free throw attempts. North Georgia shot 47.1 percent from the floor, was 4-of-19 from long range, and hit only 2-of-7 foul shots.
FMU recorded a season-high 18 steals, while forcing 22 Nighthawk miscues. FMU held a 27-11 edge in points-off-turnovers, and with a 35-23 rebounding edge led 17-9 in second-chance points.
Browning also broke a tie with Carlton Farr for the school career mark of most consecutive games scoring in double figures, now at 54. He also set a new season mark for field goals made (240).
2-28-18 7 pm at Florence, SC (Smith University Center)
FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY 83, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH GEORGIA 54
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH GEORGIA (12-17 (6th seed))
Tyler Dominy 6-12 0-0 13; Ephraim Tshimanga 4-8 1-3 10; Shaquan Cantrell 4-8
1-2 9; Lanre Olatunji 3-3 0-0 6; Carrod Watson 2-5 0-0 5; Ebo Smith 2-6 0-0
5; Quincy Poitier 1-3 0-0 2; Tyler Dean 1-2 0-2 2; Bennett Fuzak 1-4 0-0 2.
Totals 24-51 2-7 54.
FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY (20-8 (3rd seed))
Detrek Browning 9-13 3-4 24; Brandon Parker 6-12 2-2 16; Warren Specht 6-14
0-0 14; Judah Alexander 4-7 5-5 13; Ryan Davis 5-7 2-2 12; Jaquez Smith 1-2
0-0 2; Kingsley Nwagboso 1-1 0-0 2; Kendall Wall 0-1 0-0 0; Andrew Barber
0-0 0-0 0; John Jenkins 0-0 0-0 0; Victor Hunt 0-3 0-0 0; Douglas Dwight 0-1
0-0 0. Totals 32-61 12-13 83.
Halftime: Francis Marion 42 North Georgia 30
3-point goals--University of North Georgia 4-19 (Carrod Watson 1-4; Ephraim
Tshimanga 1-1; Tyler Dominy 1-4; Ebo Smith 1-5; Bennett Fuzak 0-3; Quincy
Poitier 0-1; Shaquan Cantrell 0-1), Francis Marion University 7-22 (Detrek
Browning 3-5; Warren Specht 2-8; Brandon Parker 2-4; Jaquez Smith 0-1;
Kendall Wall 0-1; Victor Hunt 0-1; Douglas Dwight 0-1; Ryan Davis 0-1).
Fouled out--University of North Georgia-None, Francis Marion
University-None. Rebounds--University of North Georgia 23 (Lanre Olatunji
9), Francis Marion University 35 (Judah Alexander 9). Assists--University of
North Georgia 11 (Ebo Smith 2; Tyler Dominy 2; Ephraim Tshimanga 2), Francis
Marion University 23 (Ryan Davis 6). Total fouls--University of North
Georgia 12, Francis Marion University 15. Technical fouls--None. A-962
Charges Drawn: Watson
Peach Belt Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Quarterfinal Game