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FMU men pull away from Chowan in CC opener

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FLORENCE, S.C. — For the second consecutive outing, senior swingman Bryce Beamer tallied 22 points, including five in a decisive 14-1 second-half run, as Francis Marion University opened Conference Carolinas play with a 78-60 victory over Chowan University, Tuesday night in men’s basketball action.

The Patriots improve to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in league play, while the Hawks drop to 0-3 and 0-1.

Francis Marion will travel to the Sunshine State this weekend for a pair of games: Friday at 7 p.m. at Lynn University and Saturday at 4 p.m. at third-ranked Nova Southeastern University. FMU’s next home contest will be Monday (Nov. 28) against Newberry College with a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.

Beamer connected on 9-of-11 field goal attempts, while grabbing four rebounds and handing out three assists. Fifteen of his points came after halftime.

FMU senior guard Tionne Rollins followed with 18 points, five assists, and three steals, while sophomore guard Farid SaintCyr Jr. chipped in 13 points, five boards, and four assists.

Four players – R.J. Wilson, Jay Estime, Preston Le Gassick, and Paul Whitby – scored eight points apiece to lead Chowan.

The Hawks jumped out to an early 7-2 lead, but five straight points by the Patriots knotted the game at 7-7. Trailing 12-9, FMU reeled off a 15-0 run – with points coming from seven different players – to take a 24-12 advantage at the midway point of the first half.

Chowan would gradually chip away at the deficit and Francis Marion left the floor at intermission leading by just 33-30.

Three-pointers by Rollins and sophomore Nick Silva to open the second stanza ballooned the margin to 39-30. Leading by six at 45-39, Rollins helped ignite the 14-1 spurt with a three-point play. That run produced a 59-40 lead. The Patriots would go on to lead by as many as 25 at 74-49 following a fast-break lay-in by Beamer.

Francis Marion shot a season-best 53.3 percent from the floor, including 8-of-23 from three-point distance, and was 6-of-9 at the free throw line. The Patriots held the Hawks to 31.7 percent shooting, including just 6-of-34 from behind the arc.

FMU held a commanding 42-30 edge in points in the paint, and led 31-7 in fast-break points.

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