FLORENCE, SC – Junior point guard Jaquez Smith scored six points and assisted on two more buckets to fuel a late 12-0 run that gave Francis Marion University a come-from-behind 86-78 non-conference victory over the University of Mount Olive, Tuesday evening (Dec. 4) in men's basketball action.
The game-deciding run erased a 74-70 Mount Olive lead with 4:25 remaining.
The victory was the fifth straight for the Patriots, bringing their season record to 5-1. FMU extended its home-court winning streak to 10 games, equaling the sixth-longest streak in program history, and the first time the Patriots have won 10 straight home contests since the 2003-04 campaign.
After a short break for final exams, FMU hits the road for a pair of Peach Belt Conference games before the holiday break. First up is a visit to Georgia Southwestern State University on Dec. 17 at 11 a.m. Francis Marion returns to the Smith University Center on Saturday, Jan. 5, against Young Harris College at 3:30 p.m.
Senior forward Je'Quan Perry paced four Patriots in double-figures, pouring in a career-high 20, including knocking down six of FMU's season-high 16 three-pointers. Freshman forward Kailex Stephens added 18 points and seniors Brandon Parker (15 points, nine rebounds) and Ryan Davis (nine points, 10 rebounds) came just shy of double-doubles. Smith chipped in a dozen points and five assists.
Five Trojans (2-5) posted double-digit scoring outings, led by freshman Jonathan Mebane's 18 points. Joining Mebane in double-figures were sophomore Alan Treakle (16), freshman Michael Brown (15), junior Cameron Robinson (13), and senior Jamaal Matin (12). Brown and FMU's Parker tied for the game high with six assists apiece.
After Mount Olive led 4-2 in the opening minute, Francis Marion responded with a 12-0 run, driven by a trio of three-pointers and later a three-point play by Davis. After a Mebane triple trimmed the lead to 14-7, the Patriots scored 10 of the next 12 points to open-up a 24-9 margin, the largest advantage of the contest for either side. The Trojans answered with an extended 24-7 spurt, which included 8-0 and 6-0 runs, to even the game at 33-33.
FMU countered with eight straight points, and eventually built the lead back to 12 at 49-37 on a three-pointer by junior Kendall Wall. UMO scored the final four points of the half trimming the Patriots advantage to 49-41 at halftime.
After making four three-pointers in the first half, Perry continued his hot-shooting in the second stanza, knocking down a three in the opening 10 seconds of the second half to stretch the Francis Marion lead to 11. After a Stephens' three made it a 12-point lead at 57-45, the Trojans began their comeback, cutting the Patriots' edge to five with a 7-0 run.
FMU built the lead back to 10 and then eight, but both times UMO answered with five straight. After a Smith three made it 65-57, another 7-0 Mount Olive run trimmed the advantage to one. At the 6:16 mark, Brown tied the contest at 67-67 with a three, and following a Francis Marion turnover, a Mebane fast-break layup put the Trojans in front for the first time since 4-2.
The two teams traded the lead back-and-forth for the next few possessions, until a Treakle lay-in gave Mount Olive its biggest margin of the night at 74-70. Francis Marion answered quickly, with Smith burying a three on the ensuing possession to spark the game-clinching 12-0 Patriot run. During FMU's run, the Trojans went over four minutes without a field goal.
FMU made 29-of-65 attempts (44.6%) from the field and hit 16 three-pointers on 36 tries. The Patriots converted on 12-of-17 attempts from the foul line. Mount Olive connected on 30-of-59 from the field (50.8%), including 11-of-23 from beyond the arc, but went just 7-for-13 at the charity stripe.
The Patriots out-rebounded the Trojans 45-27, including a 20-8 edge on the offensive glass. Francis Marion converted that margin into an 18-8 advantage in second-chance points.
Post-game comments from FMU head coach Gary Edwards
12/04/18 7:00 pm at Florence, SC (Smith University Center)
FRANCIS MARION 86, MOUNT OLIVE 78
MOUNT OLIVE (2-5)
Jonathan Mebane 8-13 1-4 18; Alan Treakle 7-12 0-0 16; Michael Brown 4-9 5-6
15; Cameron Robinson 4-8 1-2 13; Jamaal Matin 5-10 0-1 12; Don Pigford 2-4
0-0 4; Darius Spragley 0-3 0-0 0; Sean Larimore 0-0 0-0 0; XX 0-0 0-0 0.
Totals 30-59 7-13 78.
FRANCIS MARION (5-1)
Je'Quan Perry 6-13 2-2 20; Kailex Stephens 7-12 1-2 18; Brandon Parker 5-14
2-2 15; Jaquez Smith 4-7 1-2 12; Ryan Davis 4-9 1-3 9; Kendall Wall 2-4 2-2
7; Winston Hill 1-4 3-4 5; Douglas Dwight 0-0 0-0 0; Alex Cox 0-2 0-0 0.
Totals 29-65 12-17 86.
Halftime: Francis Marion 49 Mount Olive 41
3-point goals--Mount Olive 11-23 (Cameron Robinson 4-6; Alan Treakle 2-4;
Jamaal Matin 2-4; Michael Brown 2-4; Jonathan Mebane 1-4; Darius Spragley
0-1), Francis Marion 16-36 (Je'Quan Perry 6-11; Kailex Stephens 3-6; Jaquez
Smith 3-3; Brandon Parker 3-10; Kendall Wall 1-2; Alex Cox 0-1; Ryan Davis
0-3). Fouled out--Mount Olive-Don Pigford, Francis Marion-None.
Rebounds--Mount Olive 27 (Don Pigford 6), Francis Marion 45 (Ryan Davis 10).
Assists--Mount Olive 17 (Michael Brown 6; Jamaal Matin 6), Francis Marion 24
(Brandon Parker 6). Total fouls--Mount Olive 17, Francis Marion 14.
Technical fouls--None. A-1094