(release by FMU SID intern Doug Page)
ST. AUGUSTINE, FL – The Francis Marion University Patriot Women used a stout defensive performance and a pair of huge offensive runs on Wednesday night (Jan. 6) to knock off division foe Flagler College 79-59.
The win improves the Patriots to 12-2 overall on the season and 3-2 in the Peach Belt Conference. Francis Marion will host Armstrong State University on Saturday in PBC action. Tip-off at the Smith University Center is set for 1:30 p.m.
Sophomore forward Briana Burgins netted a season-high 18 points and narrowly missed a double-double with nine rebounds. Burgins led four Patriots who scored double figures, while going 7-for-11 from the floor and 4-for-5 at the free throw line. Freshman forward Shaunice Fulmore scored 16 points for the second consecutive game, hitting seven field goals in 12 attempts.
Senior guard DeAsha Campbell was one of two players to score double digits for Flagler (5-7, 1-4). Campbell finished with 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor. Junior forward Litisha Speights finished 3-for-8 from the floor including a 4-for-4 effort from the charity stripe. The Saints looked to mount a rally in the third quarter as they out-scored the Patriots 23-19 after a sluggish end to the second quarter.
Francis Marion didn't wait long to get the offense going as they jumped out to an 8-2 lead after getting four quick points from Burgins. The Patriots would stretch their lead to nine points with under a minute to play in the first quarter thanks to a 5-0 run that was led by senior forward Alaysia Watts.
With FMU leading 23-14, Campbell cut the deficit for the Saints to seven points by driving through the lane for two points with 38 seconds left. A late point at the free throw line cut the Patriots lead to 23-17 heading to the second quarter.
The Patriots had to withstand an early bucket from the Saints to start the second period that cut the lead to just four points. Watts quickly turned the momentum around by draining her first of two three-pointers in the game to give FMU a 26-19 lead. The first big offensive run of the game came with 4:20 left to play in the second quarter as Fulmore hit a jump shot to make it 34-27. The Patriots would string together nine consecutive points and open up a 16-point lead with 33 seconds to play.
Flagler would however beat the buzzer at the end of the quarter and cut the FMU halftime lead down to 43-29.
Fulmore was the top scorer for FMU in the third quarter as she scored six points while adding a pair of assists. A pair of made free throws from Burgins with 3:39 left in the quarter gave the Patriots a 57-40 lead as things looked to be going well. The Saints had different plans though as they closed the third quarter on a 7-0 run over the final 2:11 to cut the deficit to 62-52.
The late surge wouldn't faze the Patriots, who opened the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run to restore their big lead at 70-52 with 5:19 remaining. Watts would foul out for the Patriots midway through the fourth quarter, but not before tallying 12 points and seven rebounds.
FMU's largest lead of the game (79-56) came with 56 seconds left to play in the game as freshman guard Brooke Dixon added the final three points by sinking a shot from behind the arc. Flagler added three straight points before the final buzzer to close the score to 79-59.
Francis Marion connected on 43.1 percent of its field goal attempts (28-for-65), was 5-of-13 from three-point territory, and hit 18-of-21 free throws. Flagler made 35.9 percent of its shots (23-for-64), while going 5-of-15 from beyond the arc, and 8-of-12 at the free throw line.
FMU junior point guard TeTe Flowers added 11 points as the Patriots have won 12 of 14 games to open a season for the first time in six years.
1-6-16 5:30 p.m. at St. Augustine, Fla. (Flagler Gym) FRANCIS MARION 79, FLAGLER 59 FRANCIS MARION (12-2, 3-2 PBC) Briana Burgins 7-11 4-5 18; Shaunice Fulmore 7-12 2-3 16; Alaysia Watts 4-10 2-2 12; TeTe Flowers 4-9 2-2 11; Kristin Tines 2-5 1-1 5; Camille Dash 0-6 5-6 5; Victoria Dye 2-4 0-0 5; Brooke Dixon 1-1 0-0 3; Khayani Chandler 1-5 0-0 2; Kacey Medlin 0-0 2-2 2; Lauryn Bush 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 28-65 18-21 79. FLAGLER (5-7, 1-4 PBC) DeAsha Campbell 6-11 0-0 13; Litisha Speights 3-8 4-4 10; Tiffany Hodge 4-10 0-0 9; Alex Alford 3-7 0-0 7; Elise Spann 2-6 1-2 6; Teosha Ray 2-8 1-2 6; Allie Mano 2-9 0-0 4; Jasmine Celestin 1-1 1-2 3; Kristina Bugarski 0-2 1-2 1; Kathleen Casey 0-0 0-0 0; Mandi Koski 0-1 0-0 0; Maggie Flynn 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-64 8-12 59. Francis Marion............ 23 20 19 17 - 79 Flagler....................... 17 12 23 7 - 59 3-point goals--Francis Marion 5-13 (Alaysia Watts 2-2; Brooke Dixon 1-1; Victoria Dye 1-3; TeTe Flowers 1-2; Khayani Chandler 0-2; Lauryn Bush 0-1; Camille Dash 0-2), Flagler 5-15 (Tiffany Hodge 1-1; Teosha Ray 1-2; Elise Spann 1-3; Alex Alford 1-2; DeAsha Campbell 1-1; Kristina Bugarski 0-2; Allie Mano 0-4). Fouled out--Francis Marion-Alaysia Watts, Flagler-None. Rebounds--Francis Marion 43 (Briana Burgins 9), Flagler 38 (Teosha Ray 8; Litisha Speights 8). Assists--Francis Marion 21 (Victoria Dye 5), Flagler 14 (Alex Alford 5). Total fouls--Francis Marion 16, Flagler 23. Technical fouls--None. A-120