FLORENCE, S.C. – Three Francis Marion University athletic teams will host home contests on Wednesday (Feb. 18), while the Patriot men’s basketball team has moved up three positions to 12th in the latest NABC/Division II Bulletin Top 25 poll released Tuesday.
The FMU men’s and women’s basketball teams will play host to Lander University for a Peach Belt Conference doubleheader on Wednesday evening. The women’s game will start at 5:30 p.m. in the Smith University Center, followed by the men’s contest at 7:30 p.m.
Earlier that afternoon, the 2-0 FMU women’s softball team will entertain Newberry College (0-0) in a 1 p.m. doubleheader.
The North Division leading-FMU men hoops team (21-2, 11-1) now occupies its highest ranking of the year. With a win over the Senators (7-16, 3-9), the Patriots would clinch their first-ever PBC North Division title, and the resulting North Division number-one seed in the Peach Belt Tournament.
Junior forward Louis McCullough leads FMU in scoring (17.3 points per game) and needs only two rebounds to become the seventh Patriot cager to amass 1,200 career points and 600 career rebounds. He leads the Peach Belt in three-point accuracy (45.6%) and is third in scoring.
As a team, the Patriots rank fifth nationally in field goal percentage defense, allowing opponents to shoot only 38.6 percent, and 21st in scoring defense (64.2 ppg).
Lander leads the all-time men’s series 39-30, but Francis Marion has won the last three meetings, including a 77-66 decision earlier this season in Greenwood.
In the women’s contest, Francis Marion (12-9, 6-6) will attempt to keep pace with the North Division leaders. The Patriots, who were picked to finish 11th out of 12 teams in the PBC coaches’ preseason poll, are only one game out of second place, and four games behind the division-leading Lander women (18-4, 10-2). The top two finishers in each division receive a first-round bye in the PBC Tournament.
The FMU attack features three players scoring in double figures: sophomore forward Danielle Moore (12.6 ppg), junior guard Jennifer Howard (10.7 ppg) and senior center Joanna Tincher (10.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game). Tincher leads the PBC in field goal percentage (54.0%).
Francis Marion leads the all-time women’s series 44-14, but Lander took a 77-72 win in Greenwood on Jan. 7.