GREENSBORO, NC – Sophomore forward Briana Burgins fed sophomore Khayani Chandler for the go-ahead layup and then Burgins rebounded a later miss and drained an insurance free throw to power Francis Marion University to a 66-63 upset win over NCAA Division I UNC Greensboro, Wednesday night (Nov. 18) in women's college basketball action.
Francis Marion improves to 3-0 with its first win over a Division I opponent in 23 years, dating back to an 85-58 victory over Davidson College on Feb. 21, 1993. The Spartans, who lost at second-ranked South Carolina on Sunday, drop to 1-2.
First-year head coach Jeri Porter's squad will return to Florence for their home opener on Saturday against Pfeiffer University at 2 p.m. The Patriots will also celebrate Military Appreciation Day in the Smith University Center.
Senior guard Camille Dash paced the Patriots with 13 points – one of five FMU players to reach double digits. Junior point guard TeTe Flowers registered 12 points and four assists, while senior 5-11 forward Alaysia Watts posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman forward Shaunice Fulmore scored 11 points off the bench and Burgins chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds.
Lucy Mason led UNCG with 26 points and five rebounds.
Trailing 63-59 with just over a minute remaining, Burgins brought FMU to within 63-61 with a pair of free throws. The High Point native then came up with a steal and drained two more charity tosses to knot the score at 63-63 with one minute left. Burgins then rebounded a UNCG miss and fed Chandler for a fastbrealk layup and the lead (65-63) with 31.1 seconds left on the clock. Looking to force overtime, Mason misfired on a jump shot and Burgins again grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 1.1 seconds remaining. She made one of the two free throws and a desperation UNCG heave from beyond midcourt was nowhere close.
After trailing early, FMU assumed a 17-15 lead at the end of first quarter as Flowers connected on a pair of free throws with four ticks remaining. The margin swelled to 15 points at 37-22 following a jump shot by Fulmore with 1:16 left before halftime. UNCG tallied the final two points of the stanza to trim the margin to 37-24 at intermission.
In the second half, the Spartans used their height advantage to erase the Patriot lead. For the game, UNCG held a 42-31 rebounding advantage, blocked nine FMU shots, and led 32-14 in points-in-the-paint.
A free throw by Mason to close the third quarter cut the Francis Marion lead to 50-46. Five straight points to open the final quarter, including a banked-in three-pointer by Mason, gave the Spartans their first second-half lead at 51-50.
Over the next several minutes the lead would be tied on three occasions. UNCG opened a 63-59 advantage with 3:18 left following a layup by Jazmine Missouri. Francis Marion would hold the Spartans scoreless for the rest of the game – three missed shots and four turnovers – while the Patriots scored the final seven points.
Francis Marion shot 32.5 percent from the field, was 5-of-9 from beyond the three-point arc, and hit 23-of-27 free throws. UNCG connected on 39.7 percent of its field goal attempts, but was only 5-of-14 from three-point range and 12-of-19 at the charity stripe.