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.

THE BASICS
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
1ST HALF
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.
2ND HALF
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.
NOTABLES
+ 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