FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University men’s and women’s basketball teams will open their 2004-05 home schedules when they play host to the Patriot Tip-Off Classic, Friday and Saturday (Nov. 19-20) at the Florence Civic Center.
The two-day event will consist of four games each day (two men’s games and two women’s games). Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students. Parking is free.
Friday’s schedule has the UNC Pembroke women (1-0) playing Fayetteville State University (0-0) at 2 p.m. and the UNCP men (0-1) meeting the Fayetteville State men (0-0) at 4 p.m. The FMU women (0-0) will battle St. Andrews Presbyterian College (0-0) at 6 p.m., followed by the Patriot men (1-0) playing St. Andrews (1-0) at 8 p.m. Friday’s nightcap will be broadcast on The FAN 100.1 FM.
On Saturday, UNCP and FMU will swap opponents, with UNCP playing St. Andrews in a women’s game at 2 p.m. and a men’s contest at 4 p.m. The Francis Marion and FSU women will meet at 6 p.m. and the men’s teams will play at 8 p.m.
The FMU women have six returning letterwinners, including three starters, from last season's 14-13 squad, while the St. Andrews women have a large returning group from last year’s 12-17 squad. The Patriots have won all eight previous meetings with St. Andrews, are 23-8 in season openers (15-4 when opening at home), and are 4-0 in previous appearances at the civic center.
The Patriot men opened their season with a 71-65 overtime win at local-rival Coker College on Monday. St. Andrews opened its season with a 98-93 win at Ohio Valley College on Sunday. FMU also leads the men’s series with St. Andrews 13-7. The Patriots are 1-4 in games played at the civic center.
Saturday’s nightcap between the FMU and FSU men will be a rematch of last year’s 105-101 overtime thriller that saw Fayetteville State rally from an 11-point deficit in the final 40 seconds to hand the Patriots one of their four losses (27-4 record).