YOUNG HARRIS, GA – Senior Brandon Parker scored 32 points, including a near-record eight three-pointers, and senior reserve guard Douglas Dwight keyed a 22-5 second-half run as 25th-ranked Francis Marion University rallied to claim a 104-92 road win over Young Harris College, Monday night (Feb. 18) in Peach Belt Conference men's basketball action.
FMU improves to 18-5 overall and moves into sole possession of third place in the PBC standings with a 14-4 mark, one-game behind second-place Augusta University and only two games back of leader USC Aiken. The victory assures the Patriots of a quarterfinal home game in the Peach Belt Tournament on March 6.
Francis Marion will play at the afore-mentioned Augusta on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., before returning home for Homecoming on Saturday with a 3:30 tip-off against Flagler College.
Parker drained 8-of-11 attempts from behind the three-point arc, one-shy of Robert Barber's school record of nine made triples in a 1989 contest against Erskine College. As a team, Francis Marion connected on 20-of-39 three-pointers, one shy of the school record for makes (21), set twice during the 2012-13 season.
Junior point guard Jaquez Smith scored 17 points, and hit 5-of-8 from long distance, while freshman 6-7 center Winston Hill tallied 15 points, seven rebounds, and three blocked shots off the bench. Dwight easily eclipsed his career high with 12 points and senior guard Ryan Davis posted a double-double with 11 points and a career-high 11 assists. Parker also hauled down seven rebounds.
Justin Jones led Young Harris (11-14, 9-10) with 27 points, while guard Brian Harper registered 16 points and 15 assists.
A lay-in by the Mountain Lions early in the second half resulted in an eight-point lead for Young Harris. A 10-2 spurt by the Patriots knotted the score at 56-56 after a three-pointer by Parker. After deadlocks at 58-58 and 61-61, Young Harris took its last lead on a three-pointer by Jones at 66-64.
Consecutive lay-ups by Hill and junior Kendall Wall ignited the 22-5 run that resulted in a 15-point FMU lead at 86-71. During the explosion, Douglas came off the bench and drained his four three-points, while Parker had two triples.
After the Mountain Lions scored back-to-back buckets, Parker and Hill combined on a 7-0 spurt that gave FMU its largest lead at 93-75 with 5:11 on the clock.
Young Harris did get the margin under double digits at 97-88, but Francis Marion made 7-of-8 free throws in the final 51 seconds to seal the win.
Both teams posted five-point leads in the opening 10 minutes of the game. A pair of free throws by senior Je'Quan Perry knotted the score at 29-29 with 7:17 left before halftime. Trailing 32-31, Francis Marion scored nine of the next 12 points to surge to a 40-35 advantage.
Moments later, a three-pointer by Parker upped the margin to 43-37 with 4:26 on the clock. However, FMU managed only one free throw the remainder of the half, while Young Harris rallied with a 12-1 run to lead 49-44 at intermission. Both teams shot 50 percent from the floor over the opening 20 minutes.
Francis Marion finished the game shooting 48.5 percent from the floor and shot a sizzling 20-of-25 at the foul line. Young Harris connected on 51.5 percent of its shots, including 13-of-31 from three-point range, but the Mountain Lions were only 11-of-21 at the charity stripe.
The final score was FMU's fifth 100-point game of the season tying a school record set last season.
02/18/19 7:50 p.m. at YHC Basketball Arena | Young Harris, Ga.
#25 FRANCIS MARION 104, YOUNG HARRIS 92
FRANCIS MARION (#25 18-5 , 14-4)
Brandon Parker 9-12 6-6 32; Jaquez Smith 5-9 2-2 17; Winston Hill 5-9 5-7
15; Douglas Dwight 4-9 0-0 12; Ryan Davis 4-9 3-5 11; Kailex Stephens 3-8
0-0 9; Kendall Wall 2-3 0-0 4; Je'Quan Perry 0-5 4-5 4; Alex Cox 0-0 0-0 0;
Gabriel Dickerson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 32-66 20-25 104.
YOUNG HARRIS (11-14 , 9-10 PBC)
Justin Jones 10-19 1-2 27; Brian Harper 6-11 4-7 16; Paul Miller 4-7 3-5 11;
Ray Reeves 3-3 1-2 9; Troy Cagle 3-7 0-0 9; James Laput 3-3 0-3 6; Seth
McCoy 2-9 0-0 6; Nicksen Blanc 2-3 0-0 4; J.J. Flores 1-4 2-2 4. Totals
34-66 11-21 92.
Halftime: Young Harris 49 Francis Marion 44
3-point goals--Francis Marion 20-39 (Brandon Parker 8-11; Jaquez Smith 5-8;
Douglas Dwight 4-7; Kailex Stephens 3-5; Je'Quan Perry 0-2; Gabriel
Dickerson 0-1; Kendall Wall 0-1; Ryan Davis 0-2; Winston Hill 0-2), Young
Harris 13-31 (Justin Jones 6-13; Troy Cagle 3-6; Seth McCoy 2-8; Ray Reeves
2-2; J.J. Flores 0-1; Brian Harper 0-1). Fouled out--Francis Marion-None,
Young Harris-Nicksen Blanc; Paul Miller. Rebounds--Francis Marion 40
(Winston Hill 7; Brandon Parker 7), Young Harris 37 (James Laput 8; Ray
Reeves 8). Assists--Francis Marion 28 (Ryan Davis 11), Young Harris 29
(Brian Harper 15). Total fouls--Francis Marion 23, Young Harris 24.
Technical fouls--None. A-777