Patriots fall to Vikings as late rally falls short
Story Courtesy of Michael Hawkins, FMU Sports Information
FLORENCE, SC – Francis Marion University cut a 21-point second-half deficit down to seven with four minutes remaining, but the Patriot rally would fall short as Elizabeth City State University claimed a 107-87 non-conference win Sunday afternoon in men’s basketball action.
Junior guard Evrik Gary paced the Patriots with 20 points and 10 rebounds, the third double-double of his career and second this season. Sophomore swingman Dustin Jones, and junior guards Chris Rhodes and Tyler Deihl each scored nine points.
Senior 6-4 swingman Angelo Sharpless, one of the top scorers in NCAA Division II, led the Vikings with a career high 35 points, 14 rebounds, and four assists. He was 10-of-14 from the floor and 14-of-19 at the free throw line. Deon Rice and Dominique Byrd chipped in with 12 points apiece in the win.
The Vikings opened the game with a three-pointer by Glenn Patterson and never trailed. The Patriots misfired on 18 of their first 23 shots from the field as ECSU opened up a 26-13 advantage near the midway point of the first stanza.
The lead would grow to 20 points (52-32) following a free throw by Shaquill Barber with 3:16 left before intermission. Francis Marion closed the half with a 12-4 spurt to trim the margin to 56-44 at halftime.
The lead swelled to 21 points four minutes into the second half when Quintin Spady drained a fast-break three-pointer. The Patriots gradually chipped away at the Viking lead and when Gary found Deihl alone under the basket for a layup, FMU trailed by only seven points (91-84) with 4:10 remaining.
However, Patterson answered with another three-pointer to ignite a decisive 10-0 ECSU run. Sharpless made five free throws during the spurt.
FMU managed only 29.3 percent shooting for the game, and was 7-of-35 from beyond the three-point arc. ECSU connected on 46 percent of its field goal attempts and was 40-of-61 at the foul line as FMU was whistled for 40 fouls.
ECSU (7-3) will begin 2013 with a three-game home stand on January 3rd when they host Shaw University in their CIAA opener at the RL Vaughan Center. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 pm. Follow on Twitter @ECSUVikings and visit www.ecsuvikings.com.
April J. Emory
Elizabeth City State University
Sports Information Director
1704 Weeksville Road * Campus Box 900
Elizabeth City, NC 27909
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