FMU celebrates Homecoming 2018, Hoops hosts Nighthawks

FMU celebrates Homecoming 2018, Hoops hosts Nighthawks

The Francis Marion University men's and women's basketball teams will play host to the University of North Georgia for a key Peach Belt Conference doubleheader on Saturday (Feb. 10) as the school celebrates Homecoming 2018.  The FMU baseball and softball teams will also be in action this weekend at the Griffin Athletic Complex.

The women's basketball game will tip-off at 1:30 p.m. in the Smith University Center, followed by the men's contest at 3:30 p.m.  Admission to all events on Saturday will be free.

Fans can follow the game action with video and live stats at, courtesy of the Patriot Sports Network.

Sporting activities will begin on Friday (Feb. 9) at 2 p.m. in the Griffin Athletic Complex as the Patriot baseball team (2-2) will open Peach Belt Conference play with the Pepsi Pop-Off Classic against Augusta University (0-3) and the FMU softball team (3-1) will entertain the University of Mount Olive for a doubleheader.  Admission on Friday (that allows fans to see both baseball and softball) is $8 for adults, $5 for students, with FMU students being admitted free with a valid ID.

Homecoming activities will begin Saturday at approximately 11:45 a.m. with a Homecoming parade through the campus.  PatriotFest will begin at 12:15 p.m. in the Smith University Center featuring music and entertainment, and an opportunity for alumni to interact. Tailgating (by reservation) will be available behind the Smith University Center beginning at 11 a.m.

The Patriot baseball team will play the second game of the Pepsi Pop-Off series against Augusta at 11 a.m.

From 1 p.m. until approximately 4:30 p.m., the 20th-annual Swamp Fox Club Benefit Silent Auction, featuring sports memorabilia and merchandise, will be held in the Smith University Center gym.

Between games of the regularly scheduled basketball doubleheader, at approximately 3:15 p.m., former golfer Matt Dura and former women's tennis player Annamaria Karai Meadows will be inducted into the FMU Athletic Hall of Fame.

Dura lettered four years on the links between 1999 and 2003, earning All-Conference and All- America accolades twice and being named an Academic All-American in 2003. He was also a member of the 2003 NCAA Division II national championship squad.  Dura earned a B.B.A. degree in management in 2003.

He is currently an administrative supervisor for D&F Equipment Sales, Inc., western division in Arkansas – dealing with integrated food systems and equipment. He resides in Fayetteville, Ark., with his wife Jenny and their three girls.

A native of Sumter and a product of Sumter High School, Dura ended her career with a stroke average of 74.41 covering 88 career rounds.  He was named to the PBC Presidential Honor Roll and the FMU Swamp Fox Athletic-Academic Honor Roll all four years.

As a junior, he recorded the then third-lowest stroke average (73.63) in team history, and earned honorable mention All-America honors after tying for third at 2002 Division II national championships – the highest finish ever for an FMU golfer at a national tournament – and helping the Patriots to a ninth-place team finish.  As a senior, he recorded a 74.5 stroke average as the Patriot captured the national championship, and he earned the double-double of All-American honors on the course (third-team) and in the classroom.

Meadows lettered four years on the tennis court between 1998 and 2001, earning All-Conference and All-American honors all four years.  She became only the fourth PBC women's tennis player to garnered All-Conference recognition four times.  A native of Budapest, Hungary, she finished up her college work at Cal State Northridge, earning a B.S. degree in kinesiology (cum laude) in 2005.

Currently a resident of Coral Springs, Fla., she has been teaching fifth-grade students in the Broward Public Schools for 11 years.  After school, she also teaches tennis for all ages.

During her playing career as a Patriot, she posted an 82-12 singles record – the most wins in team history – and ranks fifth in doubles victories with a 64-21 mark. She was named the FMU Team MVP in 1998 and 2001.

In 1998, she earned Peach Belt Conference Freshman of the Year and ITA Rookie of the Year (South Region) recognition. She tallied a 28-2 singles record and was ranked ninth nationally in NCAA Division II and recorded a 23-2 doubles record and was ranked No.1 in Division II.  She was the PBC No.1 doubles champion and the No.2 singles champion. She helped the Patriots to a 14-7 record, equaling the record for wins in a season, and FMU earned a bid to the NCAA II Tournament.  Individually, she won the singles championship at the NCAA Division II Rolex Southeastern Regional Tournament in Savannah, Ga., and went on to reach the singles championship match of the NCAA II Rolex National Small College Tennis Championships in Memphis, Tenn.

As a sophomore, she was 20-4 in singles play and ranked 10th nationally and had a 20-5 doubles record and was ranked fifth in Division II.  She helped FMU to a 14-8 mark and to another NCAA Tournament invitation where the Patriots eventually lost in the South Region championship match. 

As a junior, she registered a near-perfect 17-1 singles record and was ranked eighth nationally, and as a senior was 17-5 in singles with a No.11 national ranking. She finished second at the Southern Clay Court Championships held in Florence. 

The pair will join 49 current members in the Hall of Fame, which was formed in 1991.

The 2018 Homecoming King and Queen will be announced at the conclusion of the men's basketball game.

The FMU women's basketball squad (13-8, 10-6) is sixth in the PBC standings, but only one game out of the all-important fourth spot. North Georgia (19-3, 14-2) leads the conference and received votes in this week's Top 25 poll.

The Francis Marion men (14-7, 9-7) are in sole possession of fourth place in the men's standings, and only one game out of third.  North Georgia (10-12, 8-8) is one of three squads tied for fifth position one game behind the Patriots.  FMU defeated the Nighthawks 88-76 on Dec. 2 in Dahlonega, Ga.