FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University men’s and women’s basketball teams will be at home on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 28) for a Peach Belt Conference doubleheader with longtime rival Lander University. The Girl Scouts Day doubleheader will tip-off at 2 p.m. with the women’s game, followed by the men’s contest at 4 p.m.
The FMU women are 7-9 overall and 5-5 in the PBC, while Lander (4-12, 0-9) has dropped its last six games, and 10 of its last 11. FMU won an earlier meeting this season in Greenwood, 66-61, behind 22 points and nine rebounds from senior Danielle Moore.
Francis Marion leads the all-time series 46-16, the most wins for the Patriots over any one opponent in the 33-year history of the program. FMU played Lander in its second ever game, Jan. 12, 1973, and won 56-32 in the West Florence High School gym.
Moore continues to be the lone Patriot averaging in double figures, with averages of 16.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. She recently moved into the 22nd position on the Patriot career scoring list with 1,112 points, and is now only 36 points behind former guard Amanda Sheheen for 21st place.
Three FMU players, sophomore guards Brittany Young (7.8 ppg) and Renee Guilliams (6.8 ppg) and freshman guard Kirby Marsh (6.4 ppg), are all scoring more than six points per game.
Lander is led by sophomore Shatora Irby (15.3 ppg). Junior 6-2 center Tara Nyikavaranda (9.4 ppg, 8.8 rpg) is pursuing a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree and works in the school’s art gallery. Junior guard Lashaundra Dubose, a product of Timmonsville High School, is averaging 8.1 ppg and 5.7 rpg for the Lady Bearcats, while two other Pee Dee area players, freshman center Bobbie Jo Grooms (Marlboro County High School) and sophomore guard Linlei Ward (Williamsburg Academy) are also on the Lander roster.
The Patriot men (7-10, 2-8) have lost five straight contests and seven of eight, while Lander is 5-11 overall and 2-7 in the Peach Belt. Lander leads the all-time series 40-33, although FMU has won the past four meetings in Florence. FMU has met Lander more times on the hardcourt than any other opponent in the history of the program. The 33 victories is the third most against any one opponent. The Patriots first met Lander on Nov. 23, 1970, with Lander winning 127-72.
FMU seniors George Walker and Vony Rivers are both scoring 13.2 ppg.