FMU Men Still No. 18; Patriot Cagers Visit FSU on Dec. 30
FLORENCE, S.C. – After a break for the Christmas holidays, the Francis Marion University men’s and women’s basketball teams will return to action on Tuesday (Dec. 30) when the Patriots play a non-conference doubleheader at Fayetteville State University. The unbeaten Patriot men also maintain their No. 18 national ranking in the latest National Association of Basketball Coaches (NCAA) Division II Bulletin Top 25 poll.
The twinbill against FSU will tip off with the women’s game at 5:30 p.m. in Capel Arena, followed by the men’s contest at 7:30 p.m.
The FMU men, off to the best start off in team history at 10-0, are led in scoring and rebounding by 6-6 junior swingman Louis McCullough (15.4 points and 9.2 rebounds per game). Senior frontcourt players Randy Williams (12.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and Jaquan Bracey (11.5 ppg, 8.9 rpg) are also scoring in double figures.
Fayetteville State returns from its holiday break with a 5-3 record, including a two-game losing streak. The Broncos are led by 6-4 senior forward Kenny Haywood (18.0 ppg, 8.4 rpg) and 6-3 junior guard Donell Williams (15.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg). FSU is averaging 82.1 ppg, while the Patriots are allowing only 60.4 ppg.
Francis Marion leads the all-time men’s series with Fayetteville State 11-5.
The Patriot men are enjoying their first national ranking since 1985-86 season. The University of Southern Indiana (10-0) occupies the top spot in the poll for the second straight week.
The women’s game is a rematch of a Dec. 16 game, which FMU won 63-59 in Florence behind a career-high equaling 14 points from senior Joanna Tincher. Neither squad has played since that evening.
The 5-1 Patriot women have three players averaging in double figures: sophomore 6-0 guard Danielle Moore (14.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg), junior guard Velvet Dotson (11.7 ppg), and junior forward Michelle Ghere (10.0 ppg).
The FSU women (3-5) are led in scoring by Monica Mason (13.9 ppg), although the junior was held to seven points on three-of-13 shooting in the earlier meeting.
The FMU women will play host to St. Andrews Presbyterian College (2-4 record) on Saturday (Jan. 3) at 2 p.m.