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Originally published: 2013-11-23 00:26:43
Last modified: 2013-11-23 23:03:26

Bobcats fall to Francis Marion

by Staff Reports

BANNER ELK -- The Francis Marion men's basketball team closed the first half with a 24-12 run, and outscored Lees-McRae College by a 56-35 margin in the final 20 minutes to rally for a 96-76 victory in the second game of the 2013 Americourt Hotels Basketball Classic in Williams Gymnasium Friday night.

Francis Marion (2-0) outrebounded the Bobcats 49-37, including a 16-9 advantage on the offensive boards. Francis Marion also and converted 26-of-35 attempts at the foul line.

The teams combined for 24 three-pointers in the contest, as Francis Marion knocked down 14 3-pointers and scored 24 second-chance points. Francis Marion posted a field goal percentage of 41.8 percent on the night, including a 51.6 percent clip in the second half, while holding Lees-McRae (3-3) to a mark of 40 percent from the floor.

Mike Chambers paced the Bobcats with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including a 5-for-8 clip from the beyond the arc. Darryl Bond added a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

Darius Smith chipped in 11 points and a contest-best six assists for the Bobcats.

Evrik Gary scored in a game-high 31 points to lead the Patriots, including seven 3-pointers. He also grabbed eight rebounds.

Mykel Harris came within one rebound of a double-double, chipping in 13 points and nine boards. Dustin Jones and Robert Carpenter added 19 and 16 points, respectively for Francis Marion.

The Bobcats stormed out of the gate with a 19-3 run in the first five minutes of the game, including an alley-oop slam from Smith and Bond. The Bobcats capped the run with Chambers' second 3-pointer of the half at the 14:54 mark.

Francis Marion responded with a strong turnaround by slowly chipping away and cutting the lead to 29-25 on back-to-back treys by Gary with 4:39 left on the clock.

The Patriots continued to push the attack through the remainder of the half, and left the Bobcats with a narrow 41-40 lead heading into the intermission with a late lay-in.

Francis Marion hit the ground running in the second half, opening the period with a 25-10 run to open a 65-51 margin on a Gary 3-pointer with 11:36 to play. The Bobcats would fight back over the next few minutes, closing the gap to 67-61 following a Chambers triple at the 9:52 mark.

The Patriots answered with a 15-5 spurt, pushing the advantage to 82-66 on a Jones trifecta with 6:27 left on the clock

Lees-McRae hosts Bluefield State at 4 p.m. Saturday in the final game of the Americourt Hotels Classic. Francis Marion plays North Greenville at 2 p.m. Saturday in the first game of the tournament at Williams Gym.