FLORENCE, SC – Sophomore center Winston Hill and senior point guard Jaquez Smith combined for 44 points, but Francis Marion University dropped an 86-72 decision to Catawba College, Saturday afternoon (Nov. 9) on the second day of the PBC/SAC Men's Basketball Challenge.
UNC Pembroke defeated Newberry College 73-69 in the final contest on Saturday evening.
Francis Marion (0-2) must wait two weeks for its next game as the Patriots will host Johnson & Wales University (NC) on Saturday, Nov. 23, at 3:30 p.m. as part of the twinbill with the FMU women's squad.
Hill also hauled downed a career-high 13 rebounds for the third double-double of his short stay at FMU, and he blocked three shots. Junior swingman Keith Matthews scored 15 points, one shy of his career high set last season when he played at Stetson University. He also pulled down 10 rebounds.
FMU junior forward Kendall Wall chipped in nine points, six rebounds, and a team-high six assists.
Guard Devin Cooper led Catawba (1-1) with 21 points, while three other Indians also reached double figures.
A bucket in the lane by Smith gave FMU a 22-20 lead at the midway point of the first half. Catawba responded with seven consecutive points that led to an eventual 22-6 spurt as the Indians went on top 42-28. The margin was 11 at halftime as the Patriots trailed 44-33.
FMU trimmed the margin under double figures at 53-44 after an inside hoop by Smith at the 15:12 mark of the second stanza, but that was as close as the Patriots would get.
Francis Marion shot 38.3 percent from the floor, including 5-of-19 from beyond the three-point stripe, and hit 21-of-27 charity tosses. Catawba connected on 42.9 percent of its field goal attempts, including 7-of-25 three-point shots, and was 19-of-23 at the foul line.
Post-game comments from FMU head coach Gary Edwards