Burgins leads Patriots to 75-65 win over Augusta

FLORENCE, SC – Junior forward Briana Burgins scored a season-high 28 points, including 18 in the second half, to lead Francis Marion University to a 75-65 Peach Belt Conference victory over Augusta University, in women's basketball action.

Francis Marion (8-10, 3-6) snaps a five-game skid and moves into a tie for fifth place in the PBC East Division standings, only a half-game behind the Jaguars who fall to 9-7 and 4-6.  The game was a re-match of last season's NCAA Tournament Southeast Regional final, which the Patriots won 72-65.

FMU will play a pair of conference road games this coming week: at Flagler College on Wednesday night at 5:30 p.m. and at Lander University on Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.  The next home contest for the Patriots will be Jan. 30 against local-rival UNC Pembroke.


Burgins connected on nine of her 14 field goals attempts and hit 10-of-15 free throws.  Over the final 20 minutes, she was a perfect 5-of-5 from the floor and 8-of-10 at the charity stripe.  The High Point, N.C., native also shared rebounding honors for FMU with seven. Her point total was one shy of her career high set last season in the NCAA Elite Eight loss to Alaska-Anchorage.

FMU sophomore Shaunice Fulmore scored 17 points, while junior guard Khai Chandler added 16.

Senior guard Breonna O'Conner led Augusta with 18 points, four assists, and four steals, while senior guard Kayla Lovett chipped in 12 points.

The Patriots held a 10-point lead (59-49) with 9:46 left in the contest, but the Jaguars scored eight straight points to narrow the margin to 59-57 with 7:55 on the clock.  Clinging to a 61-59 advantage, FMU ran off seven consecutive points, including four from Fulmore, to stretch the lead to 68-59 with four minutes remaining.

Four straight points from O'Conner brought Augusta to within 68-63 with 2:28 on the clock.  Neither team scored over the next 1:28, but Francis Marion hit 7-of-8 free throws in the final minute to seal the win.

FMU shot 46.6 percent from the floor – its second-best effort of the season – and was 2-of-10 from three-point range and 19-of-28 at the foul line.  Augusta shot 41.1 percent, including 3-of-12 from long range, and was 16-of-19 at the free throw line.  FMU held a commanding 41-29 rebounding edge.

Augusta opened the game with six straight points, but a three-point play by Burgins at the 4:06 mark gave FMU its first lead at 13-12.  A jump shot by Fulmore completed an 11-0 spurt that left the Patriots holding a 19-12 advantage.  FMU led 21-15 at the end of the period.

A 9-4 run to start the second period gave Francis Marion a 30-19 margin, but the Jaguars responded with a 15-3 spurt to regain the lead at 34-33.  A pair of free throws by O'Conner with seven ticks on the clock gave Augusta a 36-35 halftime advantage.

A three-pointer by Chandler capped a 6-0 outburst to start the third quarter as the Patriots went up 41-36.  The margin grew to seven (45-38) before Augusta rallied to go on top 46-45 after two Abrea Harris free throws with 4:56 left in the period.  Burgins accounted for the next four points with a pair of inside hoops and FMU was back in front, this time for good.  Altogether, after trailing by the one point, FMU finished the quarter with a 12-3 run to assume a 57-49 lead.


1/21/17 1:30 pm at Florence, SC (Smith University Center)
Breonna O'Conner 6-16 5-6 18; Kayla Lovett 5-8 2-2 12; Abrea Harris 3-12 3-3
9; Joshlyn Belcher 2-7 2-2 8; Tavia Sykes 3-3 0-0 6; Cynara Pitt 2-3 2-2 6;
Tanesha Campbell 1-1 1-2 3; Brianna Middleton 1-2 0-0 2; Mallory Myers 0-2
1-2 1; JJ Williams 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 23-56 16-19 65.
Briana Burgins 9-14 10-15 28; Shaunice Fulmore 7-16 3-5 17; Khai Chandler
6-15 2-2 16; Keanua Williams 1-2 4-4 6; TeTe Flowers 1-1 0-0 2; Tatyana
McClaney 1-1 0-0 2; Abigail Bullock 1-6 0-2 2; Kristin Tines 1-3 0-0 2;
Lauryn Bush 0-0 0-0 0; Courtney Wood 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-58 19-28 75.
Augusta University............   15   21   13   16  -   65
Francis Marion University.....   21   14   22   18  -   75
3-point goals--Augusta University 3-12 (Joshlyn Belcher 2-6; Breonna
O'Conner 1-4; Abrea Harris 0-1; JJ Williams 0-1), Francis Marion University
2-10 (Khai Chandler 2-7; Shaunice Fulmore 0-1; Abigail Bullock 0-2). Fouled
out--Augusta University-None, Francis Marion University-None.
Rebounds--Augusta University 29 (Breonna O'Conner 4; Kayla Lovett 4; Cynara
Pitt 4), Francis Marion University 41 (Kristin Tines 7; Briana Burgins 7).
Assists--Augusta University 13 (Breonna O'Conner 4), Francis Marion
University 18 (TeTe Flowers 10). Total fouls--Augusta University 22, Francis
Marion University 13. Technical fouls--None. A-637