FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University men’s and women’s basketball teams will play host to Augusta State University in a Peach Belt Conference doubleheader as part of Homecoming 2005 festivities, Saturday afternoon (Feb. 12).
The women’s basketball game will tip-off at 2 p.m. in the Smith University Center, followed by the men’s contest at 4 p.m.
Homecoming activities will begin Saturday at 9 a.m. with a women’s volleyball alumni match, followed at 11 a.m. by an Old Timers’ women’s basketball game, and at 11:30 a.m. by an Old Timers’ Game for men’s basketball. Admission to the Old Timers’ events and the regularly scheduled basketball doubleheader is free.
Between 12:30 and 2 p.m., PatriotFest will be held in the Smith University Center. This will include live entertainment, southern barbeque, an opportunity for alumni to interact, and activities for children.
From 1:30 p.m. until approximately 5 p.m., the seventh-annual Swamp Fox Club Benefit Silent Auction, featuring sports memorabilia and merchandise, will be held in the Smith University Center gym. Admission to the silent auction is free. A live auction with additional items (vacation/getaway packages; fishing trips; golf packages; and sports memorabilia) will take place in the Smith University Center’s commons area at 6:30 p.m., following the men’s basketball game. Tickets to the live auction will be available at the door.
Between games of the regularly scheduled basketball doubleheader, at approximately 3:45 p.m., three former Patriot student-athletes – baseball pitcher Jeremy Halpin, volleyball player Krissy Burt Owens, and men’s soccer player Alvaro Figuerola – will be inducted into the FMU Athletic Hall of Fame.
Halpin played three seasons of baseball at FMU, compiling a 17-8 mark between 1995 and 1997. He had a career earned run average of 3.61 in 47 career appearances with 135 strikeouts in 177 innings pitched. During his senior year, Halpin set an FMU record for wins with a 13-2 mark, a victory total that led the PBC and tied for the NCAA Division II national lead. He earned All-Peach Belt Conference and All-South Atlantic Region (first team) honors following his senior year. He played several years in the Baltimore Orioles minor league system, before ending his playing career in the independent (AAA) Atlantic League.
Owens played three seasons of volleyball at FMU (1996-98), was a three-time All-Peach Belt Conference performer, and earned conference Player of the Year honors in 1996. As a sophomore in 1996, she ranked third nationally in hitting percentage (.464), a figure that also set a PBC single-season record. She ended her career with 1,183 kills and an amazing .399 hitting percentage. She helped guide the Patriots to a three-year record of 87-12, including two conference tournament titles, two regular-season titles, and the program’s first-ever NCAA Division II national tournament bid in 1998.
Figuerola, played three seasons on the Patriot soccer team (1996-1998) and one year of tennis at FMU. During his soccer career, the 5-7 midfielder amassed 21 goals and 10 assists in 58 matches. He was an All-Conference selection in 1997 and 1998, and a first-team All-Region and All-American choice in 1998. During that 1998 season, he tallied 14 goals and six assists as FMU recorded its best record ever (at that time), 15-4-1. Figuerola played briefly with a professional soccer A league following his career at FMU.
The three join 25 current members in the FMU Athletic Hall of Fame, which was formed in 1991.
The 2005 Homecoming King and Queen will be crowned at halftime of the FMU/ASU men’s game.
The FMU men’s basketball team, with a 9-12 overall record and a 4-7 PBC mark, trails third-place ASU (12-10, 5-6) by one game in the North Division standings.
The FMU women are 7-15 overall and 3-8 in the PBC, and trying to snap a three-game losing skid. The ASU women are 12-10 overall and are among three teams tied for the North Division lead at 6-5 in conference play.
The Patriot tennis teams will also be in action on Saturday. The 23rd-ranked FMU men (1-1) will host a doubleheader, playing NCAA Division I opponent Coastal Carolina University at 9 a.m. and the Barton College at 4 p.m. on the Kassab Courts. The 0-1 Patriot women will entertain Barton College at noon.