Late run dooms Francis Marion Women 79-74

FLORENCE, SC – Upset-minded Francis Marion University led for 34 minutes, but a game-ending 21-6 run by Lander University gave the division-leading Bearcats a 79-74 win over FMU, Wednesday evening (Jan. 28) in Peach Belt Conference women's basketball action.

FMU falls to 6-14 overall and 3-8 in the PBC, with the past five conference losses coming by a combined total of 21 points.  The Patriots will take to the road for three straight conference contests beginning with a Saturday afternoon (1:30 p.m.) match-up at Georgia College.

WATCH THE GAME REPLAY

The next home game for Francis Marion will be Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m. against Armstrong State University.

Senior guard Cy'erra Mills led the Patriots with 15 points and five assists, while junior center Alaysia Watts registered a career-high 12 points and nine rebounds and junior guard Camille Dash added 11 points and a career-high tying seven assists.

FMU sophomore guard Danielle Pray and freshman forward Khayani Chandler both came off the bench and chipped in nine points each, while freshman forwards Stephanie Brown and Courtney Wood scored eight points apiece. 

Freshman forward Breshay Johnson led Lander (17-3, 10-1) with 15 points and 16 rebounds, while senior guard Aarika Judge scored 14 points.

Francis Marion came out hot, knocking down 4-of-8 three-point shots en route to a 22-12 lead.  Lander answered with an 8-0 spurt that trimmed the margin to two points.  The Bearcats eventually tied the contest at 28-28 on a layup by Mylea McKenith with 3:47 left, but Francis Marion closed the half with a 13-6 spurt that gave the Patriots a 41-34 advantage at intermission.  Pray contributed a trio of three-pointers during the late run.

The Patriots built on their halftime lead and extended the margin to 14, 62-48, after a steal and layup by Mills at the 10:22 mark of the second half.  The lead was still double digits, at 68-58, with seven minutes left when Lander began its rally. 

Francis Marion missed 10 of its final 13 field goal attempts and committed eight turnovers during the last 7:05.  A three-pointer by Judge knotted the game at 70-70 with 3:07 remaining.  Twenty-six seconds later, McKenith put the Bearcats on top for good (71-70) with a free throw.

Brown scored on a layup to draw Francis Marion within 73-72 with 33 ticks left, but Kayla West and Judge iced the game with four free throws over the next 15 seconds.

Francis Marion shot a season-high 47.6 percent from the field, including 7-of-18 from beyond the arc.  FMU was 7-of-10 at the foul line, while Lander was 24-of-33.  The Bearcats shot 35.3 percent from the floor and were 7-of-31 from long range.

 

1-28-15 5:30 pm at Florence, SC (Smith University Center)
LANDER UNIVERSITY 79, FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY 74
LANDER UNIVERSITY (17-3 ,10-1 PBC)
Breshay Johnson 4-8 7-8 15; Aarika Judge 4-19 2-2 14; Mylea McKenith 4-8 3-4
11; Bre Crum 2-9 6-7 10; Ty'hesha Reynolds 2-8 2-4 8; Portia McCray 3-4 0-2
6; Kayla West 1-5 4-4 6; Brianna Gipson 3-5 0-0 6; Ashleigh Zandi 1-2 0-0 3;
Cierra Kendrick 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 24-68 24-33 79.
FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY (6-14 , 3-8 PBC)
Cy'erra Mills 6-14 0-0 15; Alaysia Watts 6-11 0-0 12; Camille Dash 3-7 5-6
11; Khayani Chandler 4-8 0-0 9; Danielle Pray 3-7 0-0 9; Stephanie Brown 4-7
0-0 8; Courtney Wood 3-3 2-4 8; De'Ana Turner 1-1 0-0 2; Briana Burgins 0-5
0-0 0. Totals 30-63 7-10 74.
Halftime: Francis Marion 41 Lander 34
3-point goals--Lander University 7-31 (Aarika Judge 4-18; Ty'hesha Reynolds
2-7; Ashleigh Zandi 1-1; Kayla West 0-2; Bre Crum 0-3), Francis Marion
University 7-18 (Cy'erra Mills 3-7; Danielle Pray 3-5; Khayani Chandler 1-2;
Briana Burgins 0-1; Alaysia Watts 0-3). Fouled out--Lander University-None,
Francis Marion University-None. Rebounds--Lander University 40 (Breshay
Johnson 16), Francis Marion University 37 (Stephanie Brown 9; Alaysia Watts
9). Assists--Lander University 14 (Bre Crum 5), Francis Marion University 24
(Camille Dash 7). Total fouls--Lander University 15, Francis Marion
University 24. Technical fouls--Lander University-None, Francis Marion
University-Team. A-1078