On the final day of the Peach Belt Conference/South Atlantic Conference Men's Basketball Challenge, Francis Marion (2-0) defeated Lenoir-Rhyne (0-2), 78-70, Saturday evening at Lumbee Guaranty Bank Court.
Lenoir-Rhyne was led by senior guard Reed Lucas (Greensboro, N.C.) with 14 points while junior forward Bertrand Awana (Yaounde, CAMEROON) added 13 points and eight rebounds in the setback.
Francis Marion's Detrek Browning (Columbia, S.C.) was the offensive player of the night, finishing with 29 points on 10-of-17 shooting including six treys.
The Bears led by as many as 10 points midway through the first half and held a 33-30 advantage at intermission.
The Patriots hit 11-of-12 free throw attempts in the second half.
Francis Marion avenged a loss to Lenoir-Rhyne last year – 75-52 on Saturday, November 12, 2016, in Hickory, N.C. – when the same four teams gathered including Catawba and UNC Pembroke - for the two-day challenge.
Lenoir-Rhyne looks to snap a seven-game losing streak dating back to last season.
Lenoir-Rhyne hosts King on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m., in its home opener at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.