FLORENCE, S.C. – The UNCP men's basketball team dropped a 67-64 decision to Peach Belt Conference foe Francis Marion on Saturday afternoon at the Smith University Center on the campus of the Patriots, as the Braves' Chris Hargrove scored a career-high 18 points.
With the win the Patriots improve to 9-1 overall with a 2-0 mark in conference play while UNCP falls to 5-7 with a 1-2 record in the PBC.
The Braves took a 33-32 lead into halftime holding FMU to just nine field goals during the period. The Patriots led for most of the opening frame but a 3-pointer by Shahmel Brackett gave the Braves their first lead of the game with 6:07 until halftime.
The two teams traded the lead over the final six minutes before Marcus Heath converted a pair of free throws to give Pembroke the one-point advantage heading into the break.
The second half saw the Patriots retake the lead on a dunk by Simel Boyd only to have Hargrove take the lead right back for the Braves with a jumper a few plays later. The Black & Gold pushed its lead to as much as six points over the course of the next 10 minutes but FMU would not go down quietly.
A Kaylan Anderson layup with 8:36 remaining put the Patriots up by six but FMU could not close the door on the Braves. After both teams swapped the lead to one another Pembroke took a 64-63 lead with 1:38 left on a Hargrove layup.
FMU would go on a 4-0 run over the final minute-and-a-half to earn the three-point win to stay undefeated in conference play.
Brackett scored 14 points for the Braves while Hargrove and Heath tied for the team lead in rebounds with six apiece. Heath recorded a season-high nine assists in the loss.
Four Patriots scored 11 points apiece with David Turner earning a double-double with 10 boards. Boyd also had 11 points to go along with eight rebounds while Kendrick Robinson recorded 11 points and eight boards as well.
The Braves will be back in action again on Wednesday when they host PBC rival USC Aiken at the English E. Jones Center. Admission prices are $5 for adults and $2 for children 18 years of age and younger. UNCP students are admitted free with a valid Braves Card.