Bench protects Patriots from Bear attack

FLORENCE, SC – Freshman guard Abigail Bullock's career-high 18 points spurred a 36-point effort by the Francis Marion University bench as the Patriots prevailed 79-65 over Shaw University, Thursday afternoon (Dec. 29) in non-conference women's basketball action.

Francis Marion ups its mark to 6-4 after coming off a 10-day break for the holidays.  FMU will return to action on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. with a road match-up against NCAA Division I opponent North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro.

The next home contest for the Patriots will Jan. 5 at 5:30 p.m. against Peach Belt Conference foe University of Montevallo.

Bullock scored in double figures for the third time in the last four games as she hit on 7-of-11 field goal attempts and grabbed five rebounds in only 22 minutes of action.  Junior guard Keanua Williams also notched a season-high 10 points off the bench, including hitting a trio of three-pointers.

Sophomore Shaunice Fulmore led FMU with 19 points and also tallied six rebounds, three assists, and three steals.

Senior forward Imani Heggins led Shaw (3-11) with 21 points and nine rebounds, while freshman guard Stephanie Custodio chipped in 13 points and seven assists.

FMU committed a season-low equaling 11 turnovers, while forcing 21 Shaw miscues.  The Patriots led 15-7 in points-off-turnovers, held a 46-36 rebounding advantage, and managed 15 second-chance points to the Lady Bears' eight.

Shaw led nearly the entire first quarter, including a 13-5 margin near the midway point.  The Patriots rallied with an 11-2 spurt to claim their first lead at 16-15 after a lay-up by Bullock.  A three-pointer by Custodio with only seconds left on the clock gave Shaw an 18-16 lead at the end of the initial period.

FMU opened the second quarter with six straight points to ignite a 15-3 run that put the Patriots on top for good. Bullock contributed seven points to the spurt.  A pair of three-pointers by Williams helped Francis Marion extend the margin to 37-25 at halftime.

The margin stayed between eight and 13 points during the entirety of the third quarter with FMU up 56-48 when the horn sounded.

A bucket by Fulmore widened the lead to 64-52 with 7:25 remaining.  Shaw scored eight of the game's next 10 points to trim the deficit to 66-60 after a fast-break lay-in by Custodio with 5:21 left on the clock.  Patriot senior guard TeTe Flowers fed Fulmore for a jumper and Flowers tallied an inside hoop to push the margin back to double digits.

Francis Marion shot 39.5 percent from the floor, was 5-of-14 from beyond the three-point arc, and canned 14-of-19 free throw attempts.  Shaw connected on 41.4 percent of its shots, was 4-of-16 from long distance, and made 13-of-20 charity tosses.


12/29/16 4 pm at Florence, SC (Smith University Center)
HEGGINS, Imani 9-17 3-8 21; CUSTODIO, Stephanie 3-7 6-6 13; KELLOW, Raquel
3-11 0-0 8; SMITH, Lillian 4-9 0-0 8; LONG, Chelsea 2-8 2-2 7; MAXWELL,
Bianca 2-3 2-4 6; VANN, Candice 1-2 0-0 2; NARKUTE, Severija 0-1 0-0 0.
Totals 24-58 13-20 65.
Shaunice Fulmore 7-20 5-6 19; Abigail Bullock 7-11 3-4 18; Keanua Williams
3-9 1-3 10; Khai Chandler 4-10 0-0 9; Kristin Tines 3-4 0-0 6; Briana
Burgins 2-8 1-2 5; TeTe Flowers 2-9 0-0 4; Emma Owens 2-3 0-0 4; Lauryn Bush
0-2 4-4 4. Totals 30-76 14-19 79.
Shaw University...............   18    7   23   17  -   65
Francis Marion University.....16   21   19   23  -   79
3-point goals--Shaw University 4-16 (KELLOW, Raquel 2-6; LONG, Chelsea 1-4;
CUSTODIO, Stephanie 1-4; NARKUTE, Severija 0-1; HEGGINS, Imani 0-1), Francis
Marion University 5-14 (Keanua Williams 3-5; Abigail Bullock 1-4; Khai
Chandler 1-4; TeTe Flowers 0-1). Fouled out--Shaw University-HEGGINS, Imani,
Francis Marion University-None. Rebounds--Shaw University 36 (HEGGINS, Imani
9), Francis Marion University 46 (Briana Burgins 9). Assists--Shaw
University 15 (CUSTODIO, Stephanie 7), Francis Marion University 17 (TeTe
Flowers 4). Total fouls--Shaw University 17, Francis Marion University 18.
Technical fouls--Shaw University-None, Francis Marion University-None. A-493