FLORENCE, SC – Junior guard Keanua Williams came off the bench to score a season-high 13 points to help spark Francis Marion University to a 62-53 win over division-leading UNC Pembroke, Monday evening (Jan. 30) in Peach Belt Conference women's basketball action.
FMU improves to 10-11 overall and moves into a tie for fourth place in PBC's East Division standings with a 5-7 conference mark. UNCP, which is ranked ninth in one Southeast Regional poll, falls to 13-6 and 8-4 and into a tie for first place in the division.
The Patriots continue their three-game home stand by hosting Armstrong State University on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
Junior forward Briana Burgins led the Patriots with 17 points, including a 9-for-9 performance at the free throw line. The High Point, N.C., native was nearly perfect from the floor as she hit 4-of-5 field goal attempts, and 11 of her points came after halftime.
Junior guard Khai Chandler scored 15 points and sophomore forward Shaunice Fulmore added 11. Senior point guard TeTe Flowers tallied six points, grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, and dished out five assists while directing the FMU offense that committed only 12 turnovers. En route to her 13, Williams connected on 3-of-4 attempts from behind the three-point arc.
Senior 5-11 forward Jonissa Monley led UNCP with 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Francis Marion held the Braves to 2-of-16 shooting in the opening quarter and led 17-9 after 10 minutes. UNC Pembroke turned the tables in the second period holding the Patriots to 3-of-13 shooting and the Braves rallied to take a 28-27 halftime advantage.
FMU scored the first five points of the third quarter to take a 32-28 lead. After a pair of UNCP free throws by Monley, Burgins ignited a 7-0 run by Francis Marion to build the margin to 39-30. The lead was still nine (41-32) with 6:10 left in the quarter when the Braves gradually began chipping away at the deficit.
A layup by Airico Williams knotted the score at 45-45 with 2:10 on the clock. With the score still knotted, this time at 47-47, a bucket by Chandler gave the Patriots the lead for good and (Keanua) Williams followed with a three-pointer to put FMU ahead 52-47 heading to the final quarter.
The final period featured only a combined 16 points. A lay-in by Brianna Baham brought UNCP to within 52-49, but Chandler answered with a three-pointer on the ensuing possession to up the margin to 55-49 with 7:02 remaining.
A basket in the paint by Monley drew UNCP to within 57-53 with 4:51 on the clock, but that was final score of the night for the Braves. In fact, UNCP managed only four more field goal attempts, while committing five turnovers. A basket by Fulmore restored the six-point advantage at 59-53 and a free throw by Chandler with 1:55 left and two Burgins' free throws at the 1:36 mark accounted for the final margin.
Francis Marion finished the night shooting 34.0 percent, including 6-of-14 from three-point distance, and the Patriots hit 20-of-27 free throws. UNCP connected on 32.0 percent of its field goal attempts, was only 1-of-11 from behind the arc, but did drain 20-of-23 shots at the foul line.