Patriots push past Bearcats in overtime


Photo by: Caleb Reeves

Junior Brandon Parker dribbles the ball down the park during the Jan. 10 game against the Lander Bearcats.

The FMU men’s basketball team broke a three-game losing streak in a victory against Lander University 84-77. The Jan. 10 home game brought the men’s basketball team to a 9-3 overall record, and 4-3 record in the Peach Belt Conference (PBC).

Despite the Patriots trailing the Bearcats throughout the first half,  junior guard Ryan Davis helped the Patriots claim a lead before the end of the first half. The second half saw FMU carrying a seven-point lead with 12:09 left in regulation; however, Lander was able to close that gap and sent the game into overtime. The Patriots outworked the Bearcats in overtime and made the seven-point lead, giving them the win.

The Patriots beat out the Bearcats with shot percentages, with the Patriots posting 42.6 percent from the floor and the Bearcats posting 41.9 percent. The Patriots also went five-for-five in shots during overtime and were able to post seven more rebounds over the Bearcats with a total of 43 to their 36. Additionally, the Patriots forced 20 Bearcat turnovers and held a 29 to 10 advantage in points off of turnovers. The Patriots also made 12 more points off of fast breaks than the Bearcats, and overall caused more assists and fewer turnovers than their competitors.

Senior guard Detrek Browning led the Patriots overall, continuing to set personal records by setting a personal high of 31 points in a game, 9 of which were scored during overtime. He played a total of 38 minutes in the game. Other notable accomplishments by Browning during the game included 10-of-19 from the floor and 8-of-8 at the foul line. Browning also recently received the accolade of being the program’s all-time leading scorer with 1,902 points scored in his career thus far.

“We were coming off a three-game losing streak, but I knew we would come back strong,” Browning said.

The senior guard also said the coaching staff stressed the importance of focus during overtime.

With regards to the meaning of the win, Browning stated, “It will hopefully bring some momentum, especially going into [the games] Saturday and Monday.” The Patriots will be on the road for three games, starting with a game on Saturday against Georgia Southwestern, followed by a game against Columbus State on Monday and Augusta College on Wednesday.

Head Coach Gary Edwards stated in a post-game interview about Browning, “He had some big shots down the stretch tonight. He willed us to the win.” The Head Coach continued, “He is an unselfish player. He will probably lead this institution in assists as well.” Edwards went on to say about his players, “Everybody played with heart,” and “when we didn’t make that shot at the end of regulation the guys could have folded their tents, but they hung in there…We hit some big shots down the stretch.” Overall, Edwards said the team was very happy with the outcome.

Other notable performances by the Patriots included sophomore point guard Jaquez Smith’s 11 points, as well as junior forward Brandon Parker’s 10 rebounds. Parker made his second double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds.