FLORENCE, S.C. – A Coker College turnover in the final seconds allowed Francis Marion University to escape with a 69-66 win and gave Patriot head coach Gary Edwards his 400th career win, Saturday night (Nov. 17) in the Zaxby’s Peach Belt Conference/Conference Carolinas Clazzic.

FMU improves to 2-0 for the first time since the Sweet Sixteen season of 2003-04.  Edwards now has a 400-275 career coaching mark in 24 seasons, with stints at Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College), Charleston Southern University, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP).  He is in his second year at Francis Marion.

A free throw by sophomore point guard Cortne’ Baker with 18 seconds left gave Francis Marion the final three-point margin.  Following a Coker timeout with two seconds remaining, the Cobras turned the ball over on the in-bounds pass and did not get to attempt a potential game-tying shot.

Junior forward Sam Smith led FMU with 16 points, while junior Kevin Clark added 15 points and junior guard Houston Power 14.

Senior 5-10 guard Ryan Fulwood paced the Cobras (0-2) with 16 points and six rebounds, while Mason Ambler tallied 12 points and eight rebounds.

After leading 31-27 at intermission, Francis Marion used a 9-0 spurt midway through the second stanza to pull out to a 19-point advantage (61-42) with 8:10 left in the contest.  The margin was still 19 at 63-44 with 7:41 on the clock when Coker scored 17 of the game’s next 18 points.  The last basket, a three-point play by Ambler off a nice pass from Josh Poston, cut the Patriot lead to 64-61 with 2:34 remaining.

A layup by Ambler, off another feed from Poston, with 20 ticks left trimmed the margin to 68-66 setting the stage for Baker’s one free throw and the final turnover.

Francis Marion made 12 of its first 15 free throws, but then missed 10 of its final 13 charity tosses allowing the Cobras to get back into the game.

Francis Marion will play host to The Apprentice School on Monday night at 7:30 p.m.  Coker plays host to Anderson University, also on Monday at 7:30 p.m.

 
11-17-07 8:05 pm at Florence, SC (Smith University Center)
FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY 69, COKER COLLEGE 66
COKER COLLEGE (0-2)
Fulwood, Ryan 5-9 2-3 16; Ambler, Mason 4-5 4-7 12; Branzov, Boycho 4-7 0-0
9; Varga, Lukas 2-5 4-6 8; Poston, Josh 2-7 1-2 7; Gore, Michael 2-4 3-4 7;
Evans, Stevie 1-2 2-2 5; Terrell, Blake 0-2 2-2 2; Lacayo, Sebastian 0-0 0-2
0; Hafner, J.C. 0-4 0-1 0. Totals 20-45 18-29 66.
FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY (2-0)
Smith, Sam 6-12 3-4 16; Clark, Kevin 4-8 6-10 15; Power, Houston 4-8 5-10
14; Baker, Cortne' 3-4 1-2 9; Burton, Rodrick 3-5 0-0 6; Laney, Michael 1-1
0-0 3; Morley, Nate 1-2 0-0 3; Carter, Ziyadah 1-5 0-0 3; Boyd, Simel 0-2
0-0 0; Turner, David 0-1 0-0 0; Jones, Crayton 0-0 0-2 0; Stiglbauer, Carter
0-3 0-0 0. Totals 23-51 15-28 69.
Halftime: Francis Marion  31 Coker 27.
3-point goals-Coker College 8-24 (Fulwood, Ryan 4-8; Poston, Josh 2-5;
Evans, Stevie 1-1; Branzov, Boycho 1-2; Terrell, Blake 0-2; Hafner, J.C.
0-3; Varga, Lukas 0-3), Francis Marion University 8-16 (Baker, Cortne' 2-3;
Power, Houston 1-2; Carter, Ziyadah 1-4; Laney, Michael 1-1; Clark, Kevin
1-3; Morley, Nate 1-1; Smith, Sam 1-1; Burton, Rodrick 0-1). Fouled
out--Coker College-None, Francis Marion University-Carter, Ziyadah; Smith,
Sam. Rebounds-Coker College 34 (Ambler, Mason 8), Francis Marion University
27 (Smith, Sam 5). Assists-Coker College 15 (Ambler, Mason 3; Hafner, J.C.
3), Francis Marion University 15 (Jones, Crayton 7). Total fouls-Coker
College 22, Francis Marion University 24. A-675
Zaxby's Peach Belt Conference/Conference Carolinas Clazzic

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