FLORENCE, SC – Senior forward Brandon Parker scored 26 points to become the 21st player in program history to reach 1,000 points and help Francis Marion University grab its fifth straight win, 76-60 over Columbus State University on Monday (Jan. 21) in Peach Belt Conference men's basketball action.
The win improves Francis Marion's record to 12-2 overall, the third-best start in program history behind the 2003-04 and 1979-80 squads, which started 17-1 and 13-1 respectively. The Patriots are now 8-1 in the PBC, the second-best conference start in team history, behind only the 1997-98 team, which opened conference play 10-1.
The Patriots conclude their three-game home stand on Wednesday (Jan. 23) when they welcome Augusta University to the Smith University Center for a 7:30 p.m. tip on Faculty Appreciation Night.
It is the first time Francis Marion has swept a pair of regular season meetings from Columbus State (7-8, 3-7) since the 2008-09 campaign. With both FMU and UNC Pembroke winning on Monday, FMU remains tied with the Braves for second place in the conference standings.
Monday's defensive effort – allowing only 60 points – was the best of the 2018-19 campaign for FMU.
Parker wasted little time in reaching the 1000-point milestone, knocking down a three-pointer, his first shot of the contest, at the 18:10 mark. Parker's 26 brought his career total to 1,024 points, the 18th-highest in program history. In Monday's game, the Sumter native moved past Bob Graziano, Nat Williamson, and Daryl Blume on the FMU career scoring list.
Joining Parker in double-figures for the Patriots were senior forward Je'Quan Perry (14), senior guard Ryan Davis (11), freshman forward Kailex Stephens (11), and junior guard Jaquez Smith (10). Parker pulled down a team-high eight rebounds, while he and Perry handed out a team-high four assists apiece.
The only player in double-figures for Columbus State was junior guard Landrius Horton, who posted game-highs in points (28) and rebounds (13) for his seventh double-double of the season. Junior guard Bryant Givens added seven points, nine assists, and six rebounds.
The teams traded the lead early on before a Parker three-pointer gave FMU an 18-15 edge at the 11:36 mark of the first half. Following a Horton bucket on the other end, Parker connected on another three to jumpstart a 7-0 Patriot spurt which put them up 25-17, their largest lead of the opening half.
CSU quickly countered with nine in a row to regain the advantage at 26-25. Francis Marion scored the next six to build the edge up to five, but the Cougars rallied tie it up at 34-34 when Horton drained a buzzer-beater from beyond half court.
With CSU leading 43-40 just over four minutes into the second half, Parker was fouled shooting a three-pointer, and subsequently knocked down all three free throws. The free throws triggered an 8-0 FMU run, capped by a Parker triple, which put the hosts back in front 48-43.
With Francis Marion leading 55-51, Smith drained threes on back-to-back possessions to begin a 15-2 spurt which saw the Patriots stretch the lead into double-figures for the first time at 70-53. During the run, Columbus State went 5:21 without scoring. The spurt proved to be enough to put the Cougars away, as FMU led by double-digits for the remainder contest.
The Patriots shot 55.6 percent (15-of-27) from the floor in the second half, including 4-of-8 from downtown.
For the game, FMU went 27-for-57 (47.4 percent) from the field, and made 10-of-26 three-point attempts. The Patriots knocked down 12-of-15 from the foul line. CSU connected on 24-of-62 field goal attempts, and 5-of-20 from beyond the arc. The Cougars made all seven of their free throws, all of which came in the opening half.
Post-game comments from senior Brandon Parker and FMU head coach Gary Edwards
01/21/19 3:30 pm at Florence, SC (Smith University Center)
FRANCIS MARION 76, COLUMBUS ST. 60
COLUMBUS ST. (7-8 , 3-7)
Landruis Horton 12-19 2-2 28; Jalen Thomas 3-9 0-0 9; Bryant Givens 3-11 1-1
7; Stanley Taylor 3-12 0-0 6; DeMarcus McVay 2-4 2-2 6; Xavier Williams 1-5
2-2 4; Cam Paulding 0-1 0-0 0; Aubrien Kemp 0-0 0-0 0; Karl Ivey 0-0 0-0 0;
Rahjae Jones 0-0 0-0 0; Jordan Jedneski 0-0 0-0 0; Chris Horton 0-1 0-0 0.
Totals 24-62 7-7 60.
FRANCIS MARION (12-2 , 8-1)
Brandon Parker 7-11 7-7 26; Je'Quan Perry 6-7 0-0 14; Ryan Davis 5-14 0-1
11; Kailex Stephens 5-10 1-1 11; Jaquez Smith 2-5 4-4 10; Kendall Wall 2-5
0-2 4; Douglas Dwight 0-0 0-0 0; Winston Hill 0-5 0-0 0. Totals 27-57 12-15
3-point goals--Columbus St. 5-20 (Jalen Thomas 3-5; Landruis Horton 2-4;
Stanley Taylor 0-3; Xavier Williams 0-3; Chris Horton 0-1; Bryant Givens
0-4), Francis Marion 10-26 (Brandon Parker 5-8; Je'Quan Perry 2-3; Jaquez
Smith 2-4; Ryan Davis 1-4; Winston Hill 0-3; Kendall Wall 0-1; Kailex
Stephens 0-3). Fouled out--Columbus St.-Jalen Thomas, Francis Marion-None.
Rebounds--Columbus St. 36 (Landruis Horton 13), Francis Marion 33 (Brandon
Parker 8). Assists--Columbus St. 15 (Bryant Givens 9), Francis Marion 12
(Je'Quan Perry 4; Brandon Parker 4). Total fouls--Columbus St. 15, Francis
Marion 7. Technical fouls--None. A-897