FLORENCE, S.C. – The Lander men's basketball team battled back from a six-point deficit with four minutes left in the second half to force overtime, but could not find a way to stop Detrek Browning, who scored nine of his 31 points in the extra period, as the Patriots knocked off the Bearcats 84-77 on Wednesday night.
Lander (6-8, 2-6 PBC) was led by Rahu Purdie's 22 points and five assists. Jordan Dingle scored 15 points, while Srdjan Ivic grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Francis Marion (9-3, 4-3 PBC) outrebounded the Bearcats 43-36 and scored 20 fastbreak points.
Lander led by as many as eight points in the first half, led by 11 points from Dingle, before FMU scored four of the final five points of the period to take a 37-35 lead at the break.
The Patriots kept the Bearcats behind the majority of the second half as a Browning layup with 4:09 to play put Lander behind 68-62. Purdie responded with two free throws and a three-pointer from Zane Rankin pulled the Bearcats within a point at the 1:56 mark.
Brandon Parker had a chance to put the Patriots up three with under a minute to go, but missed the second free throw, keeping Lander's hopes alive. After Ivic grabbed the rebound, Purdie was fouled and knocked down both free throws to tie the score at 69-69. Francis Marion had three shot attempts in the final 23 seconds, but could not score, sending the game to overtime.
The team traded points to open overtime, but Browning broke the tie with five quick points to put Francis Marion up 76-71 with 3:15 remaining in overtime. After Robinson knocked down a pair of free throws, Browning netted a floater in the lane and Victor Hunt hit a corner three to push the Patriot lead to 81-73. Two free throws from Dingle brought Lander within six points and, following an FMU turnover, Dingle drove for a layup to cut the deficit to four points with 1:17 remaining.
The teams traded turnovers and a Jaquez Smith jumper with just 24 seconds remaining put the game away for Francis Marion.
Lander looks to get back in the win column on Saturday afternoon as the Bearcats travel to Georgia College.