SAVANNAH, GA – Francis Marion University used a 15-2 run in the opening quarter to erase an early deficit and then used an 8-0 fourth-quarter spurt to hold off a late Armstrong State University rally as the Patriots ran their winning streak to seven games with a 61-50 road victory, Saturday afternoon (Feb. 18) in Peach Belt Conference women's basketball action.
Francis Marion (16-11, 11-7) has won nine of its last 10 games and now sits in sole possession of second place in the PBC's East Division standings. By virtue of UNC Pembroke's loss at Flagler College on Saturday, FMU has unofficially secured the East Division's No.2 seed for next week's PBC Tournament and a quarterfinal home game on Feb. 25. The Patriots will conclude their regular season with a 5:30 p.m. contest at UNCP on Wednesday. FMU owns the tiebreaker with the Braves should the two squads finish in a deadlock in the standings.
Senior guard TeTe Flowers led Francis Marion with a career-high 19 points as she shot 6-of-9 from the floor and was a perfect 7-of-7 at the free throw line. Sophomore forward Shaunice Fulmore and junior guard Khai Chandler added 16 and 15 points respectively. The trio combined for 50 of the Patriots' 61 points and they themselves equaled the Armstrong State total.
FMU junior forward Briana Burgins scored only four points, but hauled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
Machala Raymonville led the Pirates (9-18, 5-13) with 13 points, while Kasey Drayton posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Armstrong State scored the game's opening five points and led 8-2 after four minutes. However, FMU responded with the 15-2 spurt that included nine points by Flowers to take a 17-10 advantage and the Patriots never trailed again.
After leading 19-14 at the end of the first period, Francis Marion led by as many as nine in the second quarter before settling for a 32-25 halftime margin. A three-pointer by the Pirates to open the third quarter trimmed the lead to four, but the Patriots scored 12 of the game's next 14 points to assume its largest lead of the game at 44-30. Armstrong State did rally to within six points, 47-41, by the end of the third period.
In the final quarter, the Pirates further cut the deficit to 51-47 with 4:42 remaining, but eight straight points by FMU, including six by Flowers, produced a commanding 59-47 lead with only two minutes left.
FMU committed only nine turnovers, while forcing 23 Pirates miscues and held a 21-4 edge in points-off-turnovers.
Francis Marion connected on 36.5 percent of its field goal attempts and was 14-of-17 at the foul line, while Armstrong State shot 40 percent, including 6-of-15 from behind the three-point arc, and was 12-of-16 at the charity stripe.