FLORENCE, S.C. – Senior Tyrell Kirk scored 24 of his game-high 30 points in the second half and spearheaded a late-game rally that pushed the 7th-ranked UNC Pembroke men’s basketball team past Francis Marion, 76-66, on Wednesday evening inside the Smith University Center.
The triumph helped the Braves (17-1, 14-1 CC) shatter a 55-year-old school record with their 13th-straight victory, while also giving the Black & Gold its school record-breaking seventh-straight road win as well. The result snapped a two-game win streak for the Patriots (7-9, 5-9) who have now dropped five-straight games in the series with UNCP.
|SCORE: UNC Pembroke 76, Francis Marion 66|
RECORDS: UNC Pembroke 17-1, 14-1 CC; Francis Marion 7-9, 5-9 CC
LOCATION: Florence, S.C. (Smith University Center)
|HOW IT HAPPENED|
|Francis Marion shot nearly 52 percent in the opening stanza, and used a 10-for-12 showing from the free throw line to fuel a 42-34 advantage at the break. The Braves used a 13-2 run to offset an early 8-3 deficit, and then traded blows with the hosts for much of the next seven minutes of action. A 3-pointer from Tionne Rollins at the 4:40 mark ignited a late 10-2 run for the Patriots that pushed their lead out to as many as 11 points just more than 90 seconds later.|
|UNCP scored 10 of the first 12 points in the second half, and eventually knotted the evening up on an old-fashioned 3-point play by Tyrell Kirk at the 17:29 mark. The hosts scored seven-straight points to stretch their lead back out to eight points, 56-48, with 12:08 to play, but UNCP chipped away at the deficit and eventually regained the lead, 64-63, on a pull-up jumper from Kirk with 3:45 remaining. The Patriots got a 3-pointer from Tionne Rollins on the ensuing possession, but the hosts went without a point over the last 3-plus minutes of the evening as the visitors tacked up the game’s last 12 points.|
|INSIDE THE BOX SCORE|
|+ Senior Tyrell Kirk tallied a game-best 30 points on 12-of-18 field goal shooting, including a 4-for-6 clip from the perimeter. He also added seven rebounds and three assists as well.|
+ Senior Spencer Levi finished his evening with 14 points, six rebounds and a quartet of blocks despite sitting out the lasy six minutes of the first half with foul trouble.
+ Senior Deon Berrien turned in seven points and a team-high nine rebounds, while also logging two assists and as many steals.
|+ The Braves broke the 1966-67 squad’s program record for longest win streak with their 13th-straight victory on Wednesday. The wins mark had been matched previously by the 1983-84, 1984-85 and 1990-91 squads, but had never been eclipsed.|
+ UNCP also broke the 1972-73 squad’s program record for longest road win streak with their seventh-straight victory in true road games. The Black & Gold began their current road win streak with an 82-63 rout of Chowan on November 30.
+ The Black & Gold has now out-rebounded 30-straight opponents dating back to a 109-89 home win over USC Aiken on Feb. 19, 2020. UNCP has won the rebounding battle by 10 or more boards in 20 of those outings.
Courtesy – UNCP Braves