FLORENCE, SC – Francis Marion University overcame a 21-point second-half deficit and then hit 12-of-12 free throws in overtime to escape with an 86-82 Peach Belt Conference victory over Georgia College, Saturday afternoon (Feb. 2) in men's basketball action.
Francis Marion improves to 14-4 overall and 10-3 in the PBC and remains in a tie for third place, only one game out of second. The Patriots will travel to face conference-leading and nationally ranked USC Aiken on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
The next home contest for FMU will be Saturday, Feb. 9, against Clayton State University at 3:30 p.m. in the Smith University Center.
Senior Brandon Parker overcame early foul trouble to lead FMU with 19 points. He was a perfect 10-of-10 at the free throw line, only four makes shy of the school single-game record for perfection, and he extended his current streak of consecutively made charity tosses to a school-record 29. He surpassed FMU Hall of Famer Allen Floyd, whose previous record of 28-in-a-row was set during the 1972-73 season.
Senior Je'Quan Perry followed Parker with 17 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, good for his second double-double of the year. He drained 5-of-6 shots from three-point distance. Senior guard Ryan Davis added 16 points, eight rebounds, and five assists, while 6-7 freshman center Winston Hill chipped in 15 points and two blocked shots coming off the Patriot bench.
Sophomore guard Jordan Thomas led Georgia College (11-8, 6-6) with 22 points, while senior forward Isaac Thomas scored 21 points. Junior 6-7 center Kohl Roberts recorded a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
After trailing 46-33 at halftime, FMU saw the margin quickly swell to 21 points at 54-33 as the Bobcats scored eight straight points. Seven points from Hill helped fuel a 23-3 run by FMU that cut the lead to 57-56 with 9:04 remaining.
The Bobcats managed to hold the lead until the Patriots deadlocked the contest at 67-67 on a lay-in by Hill off a pass from Davis with five minutes left. A three-pointer by Perry put FMU up 74-72 with 1:08 on the clock, but following a miss by each team, Roberts scored from inside the paint with two seconds left to force overtime tied at 74-74.
Although Francis Marion did not convert any of its four field goal attempts in the extra session, the Patriots made a dozen free throws and never trailed. FMU junior point guard Jaquez Smith made two free throws with 32 ticks left to give the Patriots an 82-80 advantage. After a Bobcat turnover forced by FMU junior Kendal Wall, Parker hit two from the line with 11 seconds remaining, and following a Roberts' hoop, Parker iced the victory with two more at the stripe with 1.2 seconds on the clock.
The 21-point margin is the largest overcome by the Patriots for a win in at least the past 19 seasons, bettering a pair of 17-point comebacks.
In the opening 20 minutes, Georgia College shot 55.9 percent from the field, while holding FMU to 34.4 percent. A 20-3 spurt by the Bobcats midway through the first half turned what was a two-point margin to a 42-23 lead.
Francis Marion finished the game shooting 39.7 percent from the floor, including 9-of-32 from behind the arc, but the Patriots converted 23-of-27 free throw attempts. Georgia College finished at 48.6 percent from the field, including 5-of-17 from long distance, and the Bobcats were 9-of-14 at the stripe.
Although FMU forced only five more turnovers than it committed, the Patriots held a commanding 29-11 edge in points-off-turnovers. The Francis Marion bench also outscored the Bobcats reserves 23-0.
Post-Game comments from FMU head coach Gary Edwards
Post-Game comments from FMU senior Je'Quan Perry
02/02/19 3:30 pm at Florence, SC (Smith University Center)
FRANCIS MARION 86, GEORGIA COLLEGE 82
GEORGIA COLLEGE (11-8 , 6-6)
Jordan Thomas 10-21 0-0 22; Isaac Thomas 7-11 7-10 21; Kohl Roberts 7-13 2-4
16; Chapin Rierson 6-12 0-0 14; D.Mitchell-LaFlam 4-12 0-0 9; Justin Cave
0-1 0-0 0; Chandler Wright 0-0 0-0 0; Wesley Simpson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 34-70
FRANCIS MARION (14-4 , 10-3)
Brandon Parker 4-8 10-10 19; Je'Quan Perry 6-9 0-0 17; Ryan Davis 4-14 8-10
16; Winston Hill 7-12 1-1 15; Jaquez Smith 3-7 2-2 9; Alex Cox 1-4 0-0 3;
Kendall Wall 1-4 0-0 3; Douglas Dwight 1-3 0-0 2; Kailex Stephens 0-7 2-4 2.
Totals 27-68 23-27 86.
Halftime: Georgia College 46 Francis Marion 33. Regulation 74-74
3-point goals--Georgia College 5-17 (Chapin Rierson 2-6; Jordan Thomas 2-5;
D.Mitchell-LaFlam 1-4; Justin Cave 0-1; Isaac Thomas 0-1), Francis Marion
9-32 (Je'Quan Perry 5-6; Alex Cox 1-3; Jaquez Smith 1-3; Brandon Parker 1-5;
Kendall Wall 1-2; Kailex Stephens 0-5; Douglas Dwight 0-2; Winston Hill 0-3;
Ryan Davis 0-3). Fouled out--Georgia College-None, Francis Marion-None.
Rebounds--Georgia College 43 (Kohl Roberts 13), Francis Marion 38 (Je'Quan
Perry 12). Assists--Georgia College 19 (D.Mitchell-LaFlam 8), Francis Marion
17 (Ryan Davis 5). Total fouls--Georgia College 20, Francis Marion 17.
Technical fouls--None. A-928