FLORENCE, SC – Francis Marion University missed a trio of potential game-tying three-pointers in the final 10 seconds allowing Armstrong State University to escape with an 85-82 win over the Patriots, Wednesday night (Feb. 1) in Peach Belt Conference men's basketball action.
FMU (8-13, 4-9) will conclude its three-game home stand on Saturday with a 3:30 p.m. tip-off against USC Aiken.
Junior guard Detrek Browning paced Francis Marion with a game-high 22 points. In the process, he passed two more Patriot greats (Robert Barber and Patrick Callaway) to climb into seventh place on the program's career scoring list with 1,488. He also just missed out on a triple-double as he registered eight rebounds and eight assists. The helpers allowed the Columbia native to move into sixth place on that career list with 293 passing Michael Jenkins.
Sophomore Brandon Parker followed Browning with 16 points, while four other Patriots tallied eight points: Judah Alexander, Jaquez Smith, Warren Specht, and Nigel Holley. Holley also pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.
Guard Corey Tillery led Armstrong State (10-12, 5-8) with 17 points, while Pirate reserves Jamison Jeffers and KJ James both scored 15 points.
FMU hit on 50 percent of its shots in the opening half and led 44-38 at halftime.
After Parker opened the second half with a three-pointer upping the margin to nine points, the Pirates quickly tied the score at 49-49, and took the lead for good at 58-56 on a fast-break three-pointer by Denzel Council with 14:54 left. That basket ignited an 18-2 run by Armstrong State that put the visitors on top 71-58 with 11 minutes remaining.
Francis Marion gradually chipped away at the deficit and pulled to within 85-80 on a lay-in by Browning. Parker stole the ball on the ensuing possession and his layup made it an 85-82 game with 46 seconds on the clock.
Armstrong State's Tillery missed the front end of a 1-and-1 free throw opportunity giving the Patriots a chance to tie and force overtime. Browning missed a three-pointer from the top-of-the-key, but Holley grabbed the offensive rebound and passed to Josh Council who misfired with five seconds left. Browning grabbed the offensive rebound, but his attempt from the right corner was no good as the final horn sounded.
Francis Marion finished the game shooting 41.9 percent from the field, including 8-of-29 from beyond the arc, and the Patriots hit 12-of-18 free throw attempts. Armstrong State shot 43.9 percent, was 10-of-21 from long distance, and made 17-of-24 attempts at the foul line.
FMU held a 45-35 rebounding advantage and led 23-15 in second-chance points.
The opening half was tightly contested with six ties and eight lead changes before the Patriots broke a 33-33 deadlock with an 11-5 spurt to hold the 44-38 halftime margin.
2/1/17 7:40 pm at Florence, SC (Smith University Center) ARMSTRONG STATE UNIV 85, FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY 82 ARMSTRONG STATE UNIV (10-12, 5-8 PBC) Tillery,Corey 5-10 6-7 17; Jeffers,Jamison 5-12 2-4 15; James,KJ 4-7 4-7 15; Council,Denzel 3-10 5-6 12; Williams,Francisco 6-7 0-0 12; Collins,Denzel 3-8 0-0 8; Clifton,Kalen 3-8 0-0 6; Brown,George 0-3 0-0 0; Ballard,Logan 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 29-66 17-24 85. FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY (8-13 , 4-9 PBC) Detrek Browning 9-20 1-2 22; Brandon Parker 4-8 7-9 16; Jaquez Smith 3-7 0-0 8; Judah Alexander 4-9 0-1 8; Nigel Holley 3-6 2-4 8; Warren Specht 4-7 0-0 8; Josh Council 2-9 0-0 6; Kenneth Jackson 1-6 2-2 4; Samson Nnaji 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 31-74 12-18 82. Halftime: Francis Marion 44 Armstrong State 38 3-point goals--Armstrong State Univ 10-21 (James,KJ 3-5; Jeffers,Jamison 3-6; Collins,Denzel 2-5; Council,Denzel 1-1; Tillery,Corey 1-2; Brown,George 0-1; Clifton,Kalen 0-1), Francis Marion University 8-29 (Detrek Browning 3-11; Josh Council 2-8; Jaquez Smith 2-2; Brandon Parker 1-5; Warren Specht 0-2; Judah Alexander 0-1). Fouled out--Armstrong State Univ-None, Francis Marion University-None. Rebounds--Armstrong State Univ 35 (Council,Denzel 8), Francis Marion University 45 (Nigel Holley 10). Assists--Armstrong State 15 (James,KJ 5), Francis Marion 18 (Detrek Browning 8). Total fouls--Armstrong State 13, Francis Marion 18. Technical fouls--Kenneth Jackson 2. A-725