FLORENCE, SC – Senior guard Detrek Browning scored 24 points, equaled the school's single-game three-point shooting mark, and moved into second place on the team's career scoring list while guiding unbeaten Francis Marion University to an 87-67 win over Georgia Southwestern State University, Sunday afternoon (Dec. 17) in Peach Belt Conference men's basketball action.
The Patriots up their overall mark to 7-0 and improve to 2-0 in the PBC. FMU, one of only 14 undefeated teams remaining in NCAA Division II, also received votes in both of the latest Division II national rankings.
Francis Marion will play host to Columbus State University on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the squad's final contest before Christmas. A family of up to five members will be admitted for only $5 in the Patriots' special 5-for-5 program.
Browning connected on 7-of-9 field goal attempts, including a perfect 5-for-5 from beyond the three-point arc. That latter figure tied the school record previously accomplished seven times, the most recent by Evrik Gary on Jan. 11, 2012, against Flagler College. Browning also passed Gary to move into second place on the Patriot career scoring list with 1,790 points. Additionally, Browning also dished out three assists to take sole possession of second place on the career assists list with 347, breaking a tie with Jackie Bledsoe (1993-97).
As a team Francis Marion nailed 12-of-25 three-point attempts.
FMU junior Brandon Parker scored 16 points, while sophomore point guard Jaquez Smith added 13 points and senior forward Warren Specht 12 points and a career-high equaling eight rebounds.
Junior Devin Watson led GSW (4-2, 0-2) with 16 points, while senior Hasaan Buggs tallied 15 points and seven rebounds.
Following a pair of early two-point deficits, Francis Marion hit a trio of three-pointers by Browning and Specht (2) to take the lead for good at 15-7. The Patriots led by as many as 16 in the opening half before settling for a 42-29 halftime advantage.
A pair of free throws by Buggs to open the second stanza trimmed the margin to 11, but a three-pointer by Specht ignited a 9-2 spurt that extended the FMU lead to 18 points at 51-33. The Hurricanes did draw to within 14 points at 53-39, but a 21-9 run by Francis Marion produced a 74-48 lead with 9:27 remaining. Parker contributed nine points to the run and Browning seven.
The largest Patriot lead came at 79-50 following a fast-break lay-up by junior Ryan Davis.
Francis Marion connected on 52.4 percent of its field goal attempts, the team's fourth consecutive game over 50 percent. The Patriots were 9-of-15 at the foul line. Georgia Southwestern was held to 43.3 percent shooting from the floor, was only 5-of-22 from long range, and connected on 10-of-15 free throw attempts.
FMU forced 15 Hurricane turnovers, while committing a season-low six, which resulted in a 22-5 edge in points-off-turnovers.