Patriots take lead with 16 seconds left and hold off Lander, 71-69

Patriots take lead with 16 seconds left and hold off Lander, 71-69

GREENWOOD – Francis Marion's Ryan Davis made a put-back with 16 seconds left as the Lander Bearcats tied the game three times in the final two minutes and 20 seconds but came up short 71-69 in Peach Belt Conference action Wednesday night at Horne Arena.

Lander fell to 8-14 overall, 4-12 in the Peach Belt.

The Patriots improved to 14-7, 9-7.

Sidney Robinson led the Bearcats with 16 points, Jordan Dingle scored 14 points, and Zane Rankin added 13 points.

Sergio Smith contributed nine points for Lander while Srdjan Ivic added eight points while leading the Bearcats with eight rebounds and four assists.

Francis Marion's Detrek Browning, who has won Peach Belt Conference Men's Player of the Week for a record four consecutive weeks, led all scorers with 20 points.

Brandon Parker added 17 points for the Patriots, Davis scored 16 points and Judah Alexander added 10 points.

Dingle's breakaway layup gave Lander a 6-0 lead. But the Patriots went on a 20-5 run, building a 20-11 advantage as Browning hit a pair of 3-pointers while Parker and Warren Specht added one apiece.

Davis hit Francis Marion's sixth 3 of the game as the visitors led 28-15 with 7:13 left in the half. But the Bearcats went on an 8-0 run to close within 28-23. Robinson scored two of Lander's four baskets during the run while Rankin and Nicklas Jonsson also scored.

Sergio Smith made a hook shot, was fouled and completed a three-point play, pulling the Bearcats within 35-31 with 1:17 to go. Ivic's 3 from the right side with 16 seconds left closed Lander within 38-34 at halftime.

The Bearcats tied it early in the second half on Rankin's breakaway layup and Smith's baseline jumper from the left side, making it 38-all with 18:30 left in the game.

But Francis Marion went back up by five, 43-38, on Parker's 3 and Alexander's dunk.

Lander pulled within 51-48 with 13:16 to go when after a wild scramble initiated by Dingle's steal, Jonsson sent a long pass to a breaking Robinson for a layup. Dingle's layup off Ivic's steal cut it to 52-50 with 11:17 left.

Dingle's 3 from the left side pulled the Bearcats within two again at 55-53 with 9:35 to go. Dingle knotted the game at 55 with a pair of free throws at the 9:11 mark.

Browning put Francis Marion back on top with a 3. But Robinson answered with a transition 3 from the left wing for a 58-all tie just inside eight minutes left.

Robinson gave Lander its first lead since it was 11-10 when he swished a 3 from the left corner, making it 61-60 with 6:23 to go.

The Patriots regained a 62-61 lead on a pair of Alexander free throws at the six-minute mark and the game was scoreless until Jaquez Smith made a fall-away bank shot in the paint to make it 64-61 with 4:17 left.

The Bearcats were back even again at 65-all with 2:20 to go when Robinson made two free throws.

Alexander got free for a layup, putting Francis Marion back on top 67-65 with 2:05 left. But Ivic was fouled while pulling down a defensive rebound and made two free throws to tie the game again at 67 with 1:17 to go.

After Browning made two free throws to put the Patriots back on top, Ivic made a nice move in the paint and converted a layup for a 69-all tie with 46 seconds left.

Once again, Francis Marion regained the lead at 71-69 with 16 seconds to go when Davis put back Specht's missed shot.

Robinson took a long 3-point attempt from the top of the key that bounced off the rim and was rebounded by Ivic, who was fouled with 1.4 seconds left.

Ivic's first free throw rattled out, forcing the senior to need to miss on purpose to create an offensive rebound. After a timeout, Ivic shot the second free throw hard off the backboard and it was grabbed by Francis Marion's Alexander to end the game.