With his name already etched in the Francis Marion University men's basketball record book many times, senior guard Detrek Browning went one step further on Wednesday evening (Jan. 17) when he scored a school-record 41 points during the Patriots' 106-104 double overtime road victory at Augusta University.
The Columbia native also decided the game's outcome when he drained three of four free throws with less than a second remaining to erased a one-point deficit. He missed the fourth free throw on purpose to help negate the chance for Augusta to get off a potential tying shot.
Trailing 104-103 with 5.4 seconds left in the second overtime, Browning drove down the lane and was fouled with 0:00.8 left on the clock. The Augusta bench was then assessed a technical foul and Browning hit three of four charity tosses.
For the game, Browning connected on 14-of-22 field goal attempts, including 4-of-9 three-point shots, and hit 9-of-11 free throws. He played 45 of the 50 minutes and registered four assists, two rebounds, and two steals, while committing only two turnovers.
He broke one of the longest-standing Patriot records, eclipsing the old scoring mark of 40 points set by Hank Foster in an 85-68 win over Coker College on Feb. 15, 1984. Already the FMU career scoring leader, Browning passed Young Harris College's C.J. Wilson to move into third place on the Peach Belt Conference's all-time scoring list with 1,986 points.
"It was amazing how he imposed his will out there," said FMU head coach Gary Edwards. "Detrek is not the most physically imposing player and he is not the quickest player, but he has the ability to take over a game. It was very evident who was in control last night. And don't forget the performance was in the final game of a three-game road trip that occurred in only five days!
"Detrek is an unbelievable shooter from the outside, but it is more impressive how he gets his shot off in traffic at only six feet tall. He is also great at drawing fouls, and when he goes to the line in a situation like Wednesday night, you know he will make them." Browning is 24-of-27 this season and 61-of-72 over the past two years in the final five minutes of a game.
When asked to rank Browning's performance, Edwards said," It ranks up there. In 34 years as a head coach, I have had some guys play big games on big stages and Wednesday night's show is right up there. While it may not have been a championship game, it could be a season changer for us this year." The win upped the Patriots' overall record to 10-5 and evened their PBC mark at 5-5.
Edwards added, "Many Augusta folks came up to me after the horn and said 'what a game.'
"Detrek means so much to us in so many ways (in addition to holding the Patriot career scoring record, he is second in assists, steals, three-pointers made, and minutes played). I wanted this to be a special season for him and am so happy that it has turned out this way."
Ironically 41 is also the number worn by Francis Marion great Carlton Farr, the player Browning surpassed as the program's career scoring leader. During Wednesday's contest, Browning (a product of Irmo High School) also broke FMU career records previously held by Farr for field goals made (700) and attempted (1418).
If the Patriots advance in the PBC tournament, Browning has a shot at the conference's all-time scoring mark of 2,333 points set by Augusta's Keshun Sherrill (2013-17).
Averaging 24.5 points per game this season, Browning has been tabbed as the Peach Belt Conference's Player of the Week three times this year.
Francis Marion will return to action on Saturday when the Patriots host Flagler College at 3:30 p.m.