Stephens sparks #25 Francis Marion to 90-56 win

Stephens sparks #25 Francis Marion to 90-56 win

FLORENCE, SC – Freshman forward Kailex Stephens scored a game-high 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting as 25th-ranked Francis Marion University coasted to a 90-56 win over Lander University, Wednesday night (Feb. 13) in Peach Belt Conference men's basketball action.

With its fourth straight win, Francis Marion moves to 17-4 overall and 13-3 in conference play and remains tied for second-place in the PBC standings.  FMU now takes to the road for its next three contests: at University of North Georgia on Saturday, at Young Harris College on Monday, and at Augusta University on next Wednesday.  The next home contest for the Patriots will be Homecoming on Feb. 23 against Flagler College at 3:30 p.m.

Stephens scored nine of points on a trio of three pointers during a 28-6 FMU run to open the second half.  The spurt expanded a 16-point halftime advantage to 38 points (71-33) with 9:40 on the clock.  The Patriots' largest margin was 40 at 73-35 after a Stephens' fast-break lay-up  off a feed from senior Je'Quan Perry.

Senior Brandon Parker followed Stephens with 17 points and 11 rebounds – his third double-double of the season.  Senior Ryan Davis scored 13 points and junior point guard Jaquez Smith added 11 points and dished out six assists.  Parker also handed out six helpers.

During the contest, Parker passed former FMU sharp-shooter Lou Ziebell (1978-82) for 15th position on the FMU career scoring list with 1,163 points. The Sumter native also passed Ziebell on the rebounding list for 25th place with 420.

Junior Elijah Alston and sophomores DeShundre Rucker and Sidney Robinson led Lander (9-14, 8-9) with nine points apiece.

The Patriots scored the game's opening seven points, but Lander rallied to take its only lead of the contest at 19-18 following a basket in the paint by Robinson with 10:20 left before the half.  Stephens answered with a pair of inside hoops off fast-break passes and Perry added a lay-in to push the Patriots back in front for good at 24-19.

A Lander bucket trimmed the margin to 24-23, but Francis Marion outscored the Bearcats 19-4 over the final seven minutes of the first stanza.  The Patriots led 43-27 at intermission.  If you combine that run with the run to start the second half, FMU outscored Lander 47-10 over a span of 17:02. 

Francis Marion shot 46.2 percent for the game, including 12-of-37 from behind the arc, and hit 6-of-13 free throws.  The Bearcats were held to 37.5 percent shooting – a season-best for the Patriot defense.  Lander hit only 5-of-21 from long range and only 3-of-10 at the foul line.

FMU committed a season-low seven turnovers while forcing 23, and the Patriots held a 20-6 edge in points-off-turnovers.

 

Post-game comments from FMU head coach Gary Edwards and freshman Kailex Stephens

 

02/13/19 7:30 pm at Florence, SC (Smith University Center)
#25 FRANCIS MARION 90, LANDER 56
LANDER (9-14 , 8-9)
Elijah Alston 3-9 0-0 9; Sidney Robinson 4-11 1-4 9; DeShundre Rucker 4-10
1-3 9; Justin Holliday 4-4 0-0 8; Rahu Purdie 2-5 1-1 6; Codrin Cobzaru 3-3
0-0 6; Marquel Wiggins 3-10 0-0 6; Morris Robinson Jr. 1-4 0-0 3; Warren
Goulbourne 0-1 0-0 0; Scott Harvey 0-1 0-0 0; Jordan Dingle 0-3 0-0 0; TJ
Knight 0-3 0-2 0; Jamarius Hairston 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-64 3-10 56.
FRANCIS MARION (#25 17-4 , 13-3)
Kailex Stephens 8-12 0-2 20; Brandon Parker 5-11 2-2 17; Ryan Davis 6-10 0-2
13; Jaquez Smith 4-10 2-2 11; Winston Hill 4-10 0-1 8; Je'Quan Perry 3-7 0-0
6; Julian Smith 2-3 0-0 5; Kendall Wall 1-4 2-2 4; Douglas Dwight 2-2 0-0 4;
Gabriel Dickerson 1-3 0-0 2; Trey Jones 0-1 0-0 0; Jalen Jordan 0-1 0-2 0;
Alex Cox 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 36-78 6-13 90.
Halftime: Francis Marion 43 Lander 27
3-point goals--Lander 5-21 (Elijah Alston 3-7; Rahu Purdie 1-4; Morris
Robinson Jr. 1-2; Marquel Wiggins 0-2; Scott Harvey 0-1; Jordan Dingle 0-1;
TJ Knight 0-1; DeShundre Rucker 0-1; Sidney Robinson 0-2), Francis Marion
12-37 (Brandon Parker 5-9; Kailex Stephens 4-6; Jaquez Smith 1-5; Ryan Davis
1-3; Julian Smith 1-2; Trey Jones 0-1; Jalen Jordan 0-1; Alex Cox 0-4;
Kendall Wall 0-1; Je'Quan Perry 0-3; Winston Hill 0-2). Fouled
out--Lander-None, Francis Marion-None. Rebounds--Lander 44 (Justin Holliday
8), Francis Marion 45 (Brandon Parker 11). Assists--Lander 14 (Morris
Robinson Jr. 3), Francis Marion 19 (Brandon Parker 6; Jaquez Smith 6). Total
fouls--Lander 12, Francis Marion 12. Technical fouls--None. A-988