CONWAY, S.C. Francis Marion University scored an 88-81 men's basketball exhibition game victory over Coastal Carolina University on Saturday night in Kimbel Arena. The game was the final tune-up for the Chanticleers before the start of the regular season at Xavier University at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 17.
Coastal Carolina came out smoking in the first half and ran out to a 17-6 advantage in the opening 3:27. During the opening run by the Chanticleers, junior guard Brandon Newby connected on a pair of 3-pointers and two free throws. Francis Marion closed the gap to four points at 45-41 with 2:34 remaining in the first half on a thunderous dunk by LaTarvis Norman. Coastal closed the half with a 5-1 spurt to open a 50-42 advantage by the break.
A Newby 3-pointer just under three minutes into the second half gave Coastal the largest lead it would enjoy the rest of the way at 53-46. A trey by Louis McCullough, dunk by Norman, and a fast-break layup and old-fashioned three-point play by Bryce Brickhouse quickly erased the lead and gave the Patriots a 56-53 advantage with 15:24 to play.
The game remained close with Francis Marion holding the lead until back-to-back fast-break layups by Derrick Robinson and Matt Sauers gave Coastal Carolina a 71-69 advantage with 8:43 to play. The Patriots again took the lead and opened a five-point advantage at 78-73 on a Rod Stevenson pull-up jumper with 4:39 on the clock. The Chanticleers closed the gap to 80-79 with 2:59 to play, but Francis Marion used an 8-1 run in the final two minutes to seal the victory.
Brickhouse led Francis Marion in scoring with 20 points as all five starters for the Patriots notch double figures. McCullough posted 16 points, Stevenson 14, Norman 13 and Jon Houston 11. Brickhouse also led the Patriots with eight rebounds as Francis Marion outrebounder Coastal 40-32.
Newby led all scorers with 25 points, while Alvin Green added 19 points and seven assists. The Chanticleers managed to connect on 50.9 percent of their shots from the field, including a blistering 63.3 percent in the first half.
Both squad's preseason rust showed in the sloppy play that resulted in 44 total turnovers.