FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University men’s and women’s basketball teams will open their Peach Belt Conference schedules on Wednesday (Jan. 5) when the Patriots host Lander University in a Family Night twinbill.
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 will be $1 as part of the Family Night promotion.
In the opener, the Patriot women (4-7) will face the defending PBC regular-season champion Lady Bearcats. Lander has won its last four contests to even its season mark at 5-5. The Lady Bearcats returned three of their top four scorers from last year, including first-team All-Conference guard Tracy Jacobs. Jacobs leads Lander with a 13.8 points per game average, while 6-2 senior center Jacquay White is averaging 12.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.
Freshman 5-10 forward Creshenda Singletary continues to lead FMU in both scoring and rebounding with 14.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game averages. Senior 5-7 guard Jennifer Howard is averaging 11.4 ppg off the Patriot bench, while 6-0 junior guard Danielle Moore is scoring 10.3 ppg.
FMU leads the all-time women’s series 44-15, the most Patriot wins against any one opponent, but Lander has won the last three meetings, including two wins last season by a combined six points.
The men’s game will pit a 5-5 Patriot squad against a 7-4 Lander team that is under the direction of first-year head coach Bruce Evans and has already equaled its win total of last season.
The Patriot men are led by 6-6 senior forward Louis McCullough (17.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg), who needs only one point to pass former swingman Jerry Lattimore (1,534) for fourth place on the Patriot career scoring list. McCullough already stands fourth in career rebounds and second in career blocked shots. Junior guard Michael Jenkins (11.0 ppg) and senior forward Andrew Snipe (10.6 ppg) are also scoring in double figures.
Lander has not played since Dec. 15, but that was a 67-59 road win at NCAA Division I Charleston Southern University. Sophomore 6-3 guard Jarred Jackson paces the Bearcats with a 14.5 ppg average.
The FMU-Lander series is the most visited in Patriot history, with Lander holding a 39-31 edge. Francis Marion has won the last four meetings however, all by double digits.