FLORENCE, SC - The unbeaten Francis Marion University men’s basketball team will return to action following an 11-day break for final exams when the Patriots travel to Salisbury, N.C., for a Saturday (Dec. 13) contest against Catawba College.
The contest will tip off at 4 p.m. in Catawba’s Goodman Gym.
Francis Marion is 6-0, equaling the second-best start in the program’s 34-year history. Only the 1985-86 squad started a season with more consecutive wins: 8-0 en route to a 22-8 season mark.
Junior swingman Louis McCullough leads the squad in scoring with a 15.7 points per game average and rebounding with 8.8 per game. Senior 6-6 forward Randy Williams is averaging 13.7 ppg, and senior 6-5 center Jaquan Bracey chips in 11.8 ppg while hauling down 7.5 rpg. The senior backcourt tandem of David Hawkins and Jarron Hinton has combined for 58 assists and only 41 turnovers in the opening six contests.
Hawkins will earn his degree on Saturday morning at commencement exercises. The Aurora, Ill., native will return for additional undergraduate work in the spring.
Three of the FMU starters, Williams, Bracey, and Hinton, are shooting over 56 percent from the field. The Patriots have outrebounded 29 of their last 33 opponents dating back to last season, and this season’s rebounding margin of 9.3 rpg is on a pace to smash the team record (8.1 rpg) set in 1979-80.
Catawba evened its season mark at 5-5 with a pair of wins last weekend. The Indians are led by 6-6 sophomore swingman Helgi Magnusson with averages of 17.8 ppg and 6.8 rpg.
FMU defeated Catawba 75-60 in Florence on Nov. 25 behind 18 points from Williams and 11 each from Bracey, Hinton, and Hawkins.
The 4-1 FMU women’s team will host Fayetteville State University, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in its final pre-Christmas game.