Francis Fuels Fire Men’s Basketball to Senior Day Win

by | Feb 15, 2019 | RRSN News | 0 comments

LAKELAND, Fla.—A special effort on Senior Night helped Southeastern end a three-game slide.

Quennel Francis shattered his career bests with a 41-point effort to help the Fire down Florida Memorial 118-72.

Francis set a new program record for successful 3-point attempts with 11, smashing the previous mark of eight, last done by Andre’ Winston in 2015. He came up just three points shy of matching the program’s single game scoring record.

“We’ve seen it in practice several times,” said coach R-Jay Barsh. “He just really brought it tonight and everyone wanted to see him be successful. At this point in the year, you need another guy to step up for you and he definitely stepped up tonight.”

Entering Thursday’s game, Francis had scored 48 total points this season and was 8-of-16 from 3-point range. Despite missing his first two field goal attempts, Francis kept his confidence up and knocked down his next five shots, helping the Fire build a 60-27 lead at halftime.

“I got the opportunity and maximized it,” said Francis. “My teammates believed in me, my coach believed in me, and I just rolled with it. We wanted to make this a memorable Senior Night and we played for each other.”

Classmate Josiah Barsh was the catalyst in the first half, scoring 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting and had two steals. He finished with 25 points in 29 minutes.

In the second half, Francis was 7-of-9 from long range, and had two steals on defense. His second takeaway at the 14:44 mark led to one of two dunks by Ismael Celestin to put the Fire up 71-38.

Celestin finished with 14 points, three rebounds, and six assists.

Southeastern limited Florida Memorial to just 36.7% from the field, which was boosted by a 43.9% showing in the second half, and forced 22 FMU turnovers that led to 27 points.

Senior Taylor Breck was also in double figures with 10 points and added six rebounds. Korey McGinnis finished with four points, burying a 3-pointer at the horn and Linwood Ross added four points and three rebounds.

The Fire finished the game 63.9% from the field, 61.3% from 3-point range, and made 7-of-10 free throws. The total points scored, field goal percentage, and field goals made are the most in The Sun Conference this season.

“When you lose games the way we have, it makes the guys lock in,” said Barsh. “You can tell the kind of team you have the way they practice, and they fought hard for three or four days in a row, and they were ready to make sure they took care of their seniors.”

The Fire conclude the regular season on Saturday at St. Thomas.

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