Patriots lose hard-fought 78-72 decision at USCA

Patriots lose hard-fought 78-72 decision at USCA

AIKEN, SC – Despite four players scoring in double figures, 23rd-ranked Francis Marion University suffered a hard-fought 78-72 Peach Belt Conference loss to USC Aiken, Wednesday night (Jan. 3) in men's basketball action.

The Patriots (8-2, 3-2) will return home to the Smith University Center to host Clayton State University on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The contest will be the first in a three-game homestand with action to follow on Monday and Wednesday (Jan. 10) nights.

Senior guard Detrek Browning paced FMU with 17 points and six rebounds. The 6-0 guard now needs only 12 points to set a new Patriot career scoring record.  He stands at 1,852 a figure only bested by Carlton Farr's total of 1,863 set between 1990 and 1995.

Sophomore point guard Jaquez Smith tallied 12 points in his return home, while senior Warren Specht and junior Brandon Parker added 11 and 10 points respectively.  Specht also hauled down seven boards, while senior center Judah Alexander chipped in eight points and 11 rebounds.

Terry Markus led USCA (6-3, 3-2) with 24 points and seven rebounds, while Brock Faison posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Patriots scored the game's opening four points.  Three ties would follow over the next closely-fought eight minutes.  A pair of free throws by Terry started a 6-0 Pacer run that snapped a 21-21 deadlock.  USCA would go on to lead by as many as nine points before taking a 39-34 advantage into the locker room at intermission.

USCA held its largest lead at 58-46 with 12:19 remaining.  Francis Marion gradually cut the deficit and when Davis made 1-of-2 free throws with 5:45 on the clock, the Patriots trailed by only 66-61.  FMU would have opportunities to further cut into that margin, but could not convert on two shots.

Francis Marion connected on 37.3 percent of its field goal attempts and was 12-of-20 at the free throw stripe.  USCA shot 51.8 percent from the field, including 6-of-16 from behind the three-point arc, and hit 14-of-22 charity tosses.

FMU did outrebound the Pacers 49-35 and held a 19-6 edge in second-chance points.

 

1-3-18 7:30 p.m. at Aiken, S.C (Convocation Center)
USC AIKEN 78, #23 Francis Marion 72
FMU (8-2; 3-2)
Detrek Browning 7-21 3-4 17; Jaquez Smith 5-9 2-2 12; Warren Specht 4-9 1-2
11; Brandon Parker 4-12 0-0 10; Ryan Davis 3-10 3-6 9; Judah Alexander 3-11
2-4 8; Kendall Wall 1-2 1-2 3; Kingsley Nwagboso 1-1 0-0 2; Douglas Dwight
0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-75 12-20 72.
USC AIKEN (6-3; 3-2)
Markus Terry 8-15 6-7 24; Henry Bolton III 6-11 2-2 17; Doniel Dean 4-6 2-2
10; Faison Brock 5-10 0-0 10; Paris Ballinger 2-5 3-6 8; Robert Hill 3-5 0-2
6; Austin Grimes 1-3 0-0 2; Darius Bell 0-0 1-3 1; Nenad Milenkovic 0-0 0-0
0; Ryan Missildine 0-0 0-0 0; Kyle Tackeberry 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 29-56 14-22 78.
Halftime: USCA 39 FMU 34
3-point goals--FMU 4-18 (Brandon Parker 2-4; Warren Specht 2-3; Ryan Davis
0-3; Judah Alexander 0-1; Jaquez Smith 0-1; Detrek Browning 0-6), USC Aiken
6-16 (Henry Bolton III 3-6; Markus Terry 2-5; Paris Ballinger 1-1; Austin
Grimes 0-2; Faison Brock 0-1; Doniel Dean 0-1). Fouled out--FMU-None, USC
Aiken-Doniel Dean. Rebounds--FMU 49 (Judah Alexander 11), USC Aiken 35
(Faison Brock 11). Assists--FMU 11 (Ryan Davis 5), USC Aiken 13 (Henry
Bolton III 3; Doniel Dean 3). Total fouls--FMU 21, USC Aiken 15. Technical
fouls--None. A-518