Dec. 11, 2008

Courtesy of Francis Marion

FLORENCE, S.C. – After taking a break for semester-ending exams, the undefeated Francis Marion University men’s and women’s basketball teams will return to action this week with a pair of road contests.

The 5-0 Patriot women will play at Coker College (1-5) on Friday at 2 p.m., while the 5-0 FMU men will play at The Apprentice School (5-2) in Newport News, Va., on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Francis Marion leads the women’s series with Coker 29-3, although the teams have only met three times over the past 10 seasons, including an 84-77 Patriot win last year in Hartsville.  FMU has won the past seven meetings in the series.

The women are off to their best start since the 1998-99 squad opened 9-0 en route to an appearance in the NCAA Division II Sweet 16.

The FMU men are off to their best start since 2003-04 when the Patriots opened 10-0 en route to their own spot in the NCAA Division II round of Sweet 16.

Francis Marion has won all three previous meetings with the Builders, including a 93-70 victory in Florence last year.

Both FMU squads will open Peach Belt Conference play on Monday when they host North Georgia College & State University.  The women’s game will tip-off at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men’s contest at 7:30 p.m.

As part of Monday’s doubleheader, Francis Marion will be raising funds for and increasing awareness of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  This organization is the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services. The LLS mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.  Donations will be accepted in the Smith University Center.