COLUMBUS, GA – Francis Marion University collected its seventh straight win on Wednesday afternoon (Dec. 19), withstanding a late rally to claim a 90-85 victory at Columbus State University in Peach Belt Conference men's basketball action.
FMU (7-1, 3-0) knocked down 15 three-pointers, one shy of its season-high, with seven different Patriots hitting at least one triple. It is the fourth time in the past five years that Francis Marion has opened the season 7-1 or better in its first eight contests, and the second consecutive season it has started off 3-0 in conference play. The win also snaps a three-game skid for FMU in Columbus.
Following a break for the holidays, the Patriots return to action on Saturday, Jan. 5, against Young Harris College at 3:30 p.m. in the Smith University Center. FMU will hold a 5 for $5 on the 5th ticket promotion for that doubleheader. The 5 for $5 ticket promotion allows 5 people to get in for $1 each to see both games. Tickets may be purchased at the door.
Senior guard Ryan Davis paced the Patriots' offense with 22 points, including 18 in the first half. Junior guard Jaquez Smith added 18 points, while senior forward Je'Quan Perry had 16, with each dishing out a team-high four assists. Freshman forward Kailex Stephens collected his second double-double of the season, scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Senior forward Brandon Parker had eight points, moving him past former Patriot forward Dustin Jones (2012-14) for 26th on the FMU career scoring list with 889 points.
Junior Landrius Horton led Columbus State (5-4, 1-3) with 22 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Four other Cougars posted double-digit scoring efforts, including junior Chris Horton (14 points), junior Bryant Givens (11 points), senior Xavier Williams (11 points), and junior Jalen Thomas (10 points). Givens added a game-high 11 assists.
The Cougars scored four of the contest's first six points, but Davis canned a three-pointer to put Francis Marion on top for good at 5-4. That bucket ignited a 17-5 run that put the visitors in front 19-9. Davis scored 11 points during the run, including three three-pointers. Columbus State trimmed the edge to seven a couple of times before a 14-4 spurt, fueled by four triples, helped the Patriots stretch the lead to 40-23, largest of the contest.
CSU scored the next nine points, and closed the gap to seven at 42-35, before a tip-in by FMU freshman forward Winston Hill restored the Patriots' double-digit margin at 46-35 heading into halftime.
CSU scored the first five points of the second stanza to cut the Francis Marion edge to six, but missed an opportunity to get even closer with a pair of missed free throws. The margin stayed between six and 12 until a Landrius Horton layup made it 67-62 Patriots with 8:39 remaining. Parker responded with a three-pointer on the ensuing possession, the first points of the afternoon for the PBC's leading scorer, which started a 9-0 FMU spurt to build the lead back to 14, at 76-62.
The advantage grew to as many as 15 before CSU began its comeback. The Cougars went on a 12-2 run, including scoring seven straight at one point, reducing the Patriot lead to 83-78 with 1:19 to play. Struggles at the line from Francis Marion and hot-shooting from Columbus State got the visitors as close as 87-85 after a Chris Horton three-pointer with 20 ticks left. Parker and Smith made 3-of-4 free throws in the final 17 seconds to help FMU hang on.
Francis Marion went 27-for-69 from the field (39.1%), including 15-for-36 from beyond the arc, and knocked down 21-of-29 from the free throw line. CSU connected on 32-of-63 from the floor (50.8%), including 11-of-24 three-pointers, and hit 10 free throws on 18 tries.
Columbus State entered the game having allowed its opponents to shoot only 26.8 percent from behind the arc in the Cougars' opening 8 contests
The Patriots out-rebounded the Cougars 47-36, including a 19-7 edge in offensive rebounds, which led to a 20-8 advantage in second-chance points. FMU tied its season-low with 10 turnovers, and owned a 19-11 advantage in points off of turnovers.
12/19/18 1:15 PM at Columbus, Ga...Lumpkin Center
FRANCIS MARION 90, COLUMBUS STATE 85
FRANCIS MARION (7-1; 3-0)
Ryan Davis 8-15 2-3 22; Jaquez Smith 5-12 4-7 18; Je'Quan Perry 5-13 3-4 16;
Kailex Stephens 3-14 3-5 10; Winston Hill 3-8 2-2 9; Brandon Parker 1-5 5-6
8; Kendall Wall 2-2 2-2 7. Totals 27-69 21-29 90.
COLUMBUS STATE (5-4; 1-3)
Landrius Horton 8-14 3-6 22; Chris Horton 5-9 0-0 14; Xavier Williams 3-5
5-6 11; Bryant Givens 4-9 0-2 11; Jalen Thomas 4-7 1-2 10; DeMarcus McVay
4-11 0-0 8; Stanley Taylor 2-6 1-2 5; Cam Paulding 1-1 0-0 2; Jesse Deloach
1-1 0-0 2; Aubrien Kemp 0-0 0-0 0; Karl Ivey 0-0 0-0 0; Rahjae Jones 0-0 0-0
0. Totals 32-63 10-18 85.
Halftime: Francis Marion 46 Columbus State 35
3-point goals--Francis Marion 15-36 (Jaquez Smith 4-8; Ryan Davis 4-7;
Je'Quan Perry 3-9; Kailex Stephens 1-5; Winston Hill 1-2; Brandon Parker
1-4; Kendall Wall 1-1), Columbus State 11-24 (Chris Horton 4-7; Bryant
Givens 3-7; Landrius Horton 3-5; Jalen Thomas 1-3; Stanley Taylor 0-1;
Xavier Williams 0-1). Fouled out--Francis Marion-None, Columbus State-Jalen
Thomas. Rebounds--Francis Marion 47 (Kailex Stephens 11), Columbus State 36
(Landrius Horton 12). Assists--Francis Marion 16 (Jaquez Smith 4; Je'Quan
Perry 4), Columbus State 20 (Bryant Givens 11). Total fouls--Francis Marion
16, Columbus State 21. Technical fouls--None. A-423