FLORENCE, SC – The Francis Marion University men’s and women’s basketball teams will play host to an important Peach Belt Conference doubleheader against local-rival UNC Pembroke on Wednesday evening (Feb. 2). The women’s game will tip-off at 5:30 p.m. in the Smith University Center, followed by the men’s contest at 7:30 p.m.
Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for students with FMU students being admitted free with a valid identification card.
The men’s game will be broadcast on WWFN The Fan, 100.1 FM, while both games will be televised live on Channel 11 of Florence’s Time Warner Cable system as well as streamed on the internet at http://fmu.nmtvsports.com/
The Francis Marion men have won four straight games, are 13-5 overall, and occupy second place in the PBC’s East Division with a 6-4 mark. The top two finishers in each division host first-round PBC Tournament contests. The 12-7 UNCP men are 1.5 games behind the Patriots with a 5-6 conference record.
Francis Marion defeated the Braves 86-82 earlier this season in Pembroke to draw to within four games of .500 in the all-time series (UNCP leads 33-29). FMU has won the past eight meetings in Florence.
FMU continues to lead the Peach Belt in scoring offense at 82.7 ppg, while UNCP is the best rebounding squad with a margin of +9.1 rpg.
Junior 6-5 forward Liki Turner paces FMU with season averages of 16.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Senior 6-6 forward Simel Boyd is averaging 12.8 ppg and 7.9 rpg, and needs only 32 points to become only the seventh Patriot in team history to rank among the Top 20 in career totals for points, rebounds, and steals.
Sophomore guard Shahmel Brackett, a native of Florence and a product of Wilson High School, leads the Braves with a 13.9 ppg average.
The FMU women (13-5, 6-4) are riding a season-high five-game winning streak and are still among the other schools receiving votes in this week’s USA Today ESPN Division II Top 25 Coaches’ Poll. UNCP is 8-11 overall and 4-7 in the PBC, but one of those victories (85-74) came against the Patriots last month in Pembroke.
FMU senior Shannon Singleton-Bates is ranked sixth nationally in scoring with a 20.3 ppg average. Already seventh on the FMU career scoring list with 1,581 points, she needs only two points to pass former Kennesaw State University standout Denisha Ferguson and move into sixth position on the Peach Belt’s career scoring chart.
Senior point guard Robin Colbert continues her climb up two FMU career lists. In only three seasons as a Patriot, she is fourth on the FMU career steals list (280) and seventh in assists (348) – having recently passed former guard Kevina Ransom. She is only nine steals shy of Ransom on the steals list.
Senior 5-9 forward JaToya Kemp leads UNCP in both scoring (15.1 ppg) and rebounding (6.8 rpg).
Francis Marion leads the all-time series with the Lady Braves 38-18.