'Canes Fizzle Down the Stretch in Loss to Francis Marion

AMERICUS - The Francis Marion University men's basketball team utilized a 22-5 run over the final nine and a half minutes on Saturday afternoon to hand GSW its first loss at home this season, 70-56.

An Evan Mobley layup with 5:58 to play made the score 59-55 but would prove to be GSW's final field goal of the game. Southwestern missed seven shots in a row during that scoreless stretch along with a pair of free throws. Colin Slotter added a free throw with 28 seconds left to cap the 'Canes scoring.

Up until that final run by the visiting Patriots, the game was a back-and-forth affair with the lead changing hands 14 times.

The Hurricanes led most of the first half and built their largest lead (eight points) on a dunk by Slotter at the 7:39 mark that made the score 22-14.

Francis Marion (12-7, 6-4 PBC) chipped away at the margin and eventually took its first lead with 3:12 left in the opening stanza when Evrik Gary connected on 3-point basket to make the score 27-26. Mobley answered with a pair of 3-pointers of his own and helped GSW take a 32-31 lead into the break.

The opening 10 minutes of the second half was more of the same with the two sides exchanging blows and a converted 3-point play by Milos Kleut with 9:48 to go gave GSW its final lead of the game, 51-48.

GSW was led by Slotter's 17 points. Mobley chipped in 16 and Kleut added 11. Marlon Rivera pulled down a team-high 10 boards.

The Hurricanes finished 20 of 52 (38.5 percent) from the floor and struggled from beyond the arc, hitting 4 of 24 attempts (16.7 percent). The 24 attempts matched a season-high. GSW lost the battle of the boards (39-34), points in the paint (27-22) and bench points (14-5). 

Francis Marion's Liki Turner led all scorers with 25 points on 10 of 18 shooting. Turner completed the double-double with a game-high 13 rebounds. Gary added 17 points.

The Patriots shot 43.1 percent from the floor (25 of 58) and connected on 40 percent (8 of 20) from beyond the arc.

The Hurricanes (11-6, 2-6 PBC) look to rebound tomorrow against UNC Pembroke in the Storm Dome at 3:30 p.m. A reminder that it's a Sundaes on Sunday event presented by the Americus-Sumter Chamber of Commerce. Free ice cream sundaes will be served between the PBC doubleheader to the first 150 fans. It's also Camo Day. Fans are encouraged to wear camouflage.