FLORENCE, SC – Seniors Detrek Browning and Judah Alexander combined for 47 points to lead Francis Marion University to a 90-83 upset of 21st-ranked and conference-leading UNC Pembroke, Wednesday night (Jan. 24) in Peach Belt Conference men's basketball action.
Francis Marion improves to 11-6 overall and evens its conference mark at 6-6, while snapping the Braves' nine-game winning streak. UNCP dips to 14-4 and 10-2.
FMU will play at Georgia College on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., before returning home to entertain USC Aiken on Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m.
Browning paced the Patriots with 27 points on 11-of-17 shooting. The 6-0 Columbia native pushed his school-record career scoring total to 2,040, while his two three-point field goals established a new Patriot career mark of 251 bettering the old record held by Evrik Gary. Alexander tallied 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting and hauled down a game-high nine rebounds. Both players also registered four steals.
FMU forwards Warren Specht and Brandon Parker added 15 and 12 points respectively, with Parker also dishing out five assists.
Freshman guard Tyrell Kirk led UNCP with 20 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists, while senior forward Nigel Grant scored 18 points.
FMU scored the game's first six points and never trailed. The Patriots led by as many as 11 on two occasions before settling for a 50-41 advantage at halftime. The Patriots shot a sizzling 61.3 percent from the floor over the opening 20 minutes, while also forcing 11 Braves' turnovers.
A 7-2 spurt by UNC Pembroke to open the second stanza trimmed the margin to 52-48, but lay-ins by Browning and Specht pushed the lead back to eight points. Back-to-back three-pointers by Specht swelled the FMU lead to 75-62 with 7:32 remaining, but UNCP answered with a 9-0 run to pull within 75-71 with 5:07 on the clock.
After three FMU free throws, David Strother brought the Braves to within five points at 78-73, but a nearly two-minute scoreless drought by UNCP allowed FMU to open an 82-73 advantage. Five straight points by the Braves narrowed the deficit to four (82-78) with 1:33 left, but Browning canned a tough jumper from the left elbow as the shot clock was expiring to produce a six-point lead and seal the win. FMU then made 6-of-8 free throws over the final 30 seconds.
Francis Marion finished the game shooting 53.3 percent from the floor, including 8-of-20 from three-point territory, and was 18-of-25 at the foul line. UNCP shot an even 50-percent from the field, was 11-of-21 from behind the arc, and hit 14-of-19 charity tosses.
FMU did convert 18 UNCP miscues into 17 points, while the Patriots committed only 10 turnovers themselves.