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Rams overcome deficit in win over Keith

Francis Marion (7-4, 3-0) came back from an 11-point third quarter deficit and rallied to a 37-point second half to beat the Keith 62-55 on Friday.

“We talked about playing better defense at halftime,” said first-year Francis Marion coach Lee Hollis. “We also wanted to put more of an effort on rebounding and giving them just one shot at the basket.”

Keith (3-8, 0-2) led 30-25 at the half and built its advantage to 36-25 after two minutes of play in the third quarter. The Rams followed with a 19-9 run to close out the quarter, trimming the deficit to 45-44 going headed the final eight minutes of play.

“We also were able to put more pressure on their guards,” said Hollis. “(We) forced more turnovers in the second half.”

The Bear offense all but disappeared in the fourth quarter. Keith scored its first field goal of the quarter with 4:06 left in the game. Meanwhile the Rams took advantage of the drought by netting 13 unanswered points during the same stretch to go up by 12. Keith never recovered.

“I couldn’t tell you what happened,” said Keith coach Tommy Tisdale. “We’re young, but I don’t want to use that as an excuse. We will go back to the drawing board to right the ship.”

Keith’s Ronnie Rosemond topped all scorers with 15 points. Rodney Ellis netted 11 points off the bench.

The Rams were led by Ken Billingsley’s 12 points. Kenneth Tabb added 11 and Jerome Smith chipped in 10 points. Jamarcus Billingsley recorded six steals in the contest to go along with his nine points and seven rebounds. Chris Lewis scored nine points and pulled down