FLORENCE, SC – Francis Marion University junior guard Khai Chandler scored the game-winning bucket on a 13-foot bank-shot with 17.6 seconds remaining and the Patriots survived two potential game-winning attempts by Armstrong State University in the final seven seconds to grab an exciting 64-63 Peach Belt Conference win, Wednesday evening (Feb. 1) in women's basketball action.
Francis Marion evens its overall mark at 11-11 and moves into sole possession of fourth place in PBC's East Division standings with a 6-7 mark. The Patriots will conclude their three-game home stand by hosting USC Aiken on Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.
Sophomore Shaunice Fulmore, last year's PBC Freshman of the Year, led FMU with a career-high 26 points on 11-of-19 shooting. She also shared team rebounding honors with eight. Junior guard Keanua Williams came off the bench to score 12 points, her second straight double-digit outing, while Chandler added 11 and junior forward Briana Burgins 10.
Junior guard Mercedes Jenkins paced the Pirates (7-15, 3-10) with 18 points, eight assists, and five rebounds, while Machala Raymonville added 16 points.
After Chandler's hoop, Armstrong State's Deundria Clark missed a three-point attempt with seven seconds, but the Pirates corralled the offensive rebound and called a time out with 2.6 seconds left on the clock. On the ensuing play, graduate student Lauren Woods had an underhand scoop layup from the right side that rolled off the rim no good as the final horn sounded.
Francis Marion trailed by 11 points after one quarter and by as many as 17 points in the second quarter, at 35-18, before going to the locker room down 39-27 at halftime. FMU outscored the Pirates 22-13 in the third period to draw to within 52-49 heading to the fourth quarter.
Neither team led by more than one possession over the final 10 minutes and the score was knotted on five occasions. The final deadlock was at 62-62 after a jump shot by Fulmore with 1:45 on the clock. Raymonville made 1-of-2 free throws at the 1:19 mark to give the Pirates a 63-62 advantage and setting the stage for Chandler's game-winner.
Francis Marion shot 41.3 percent from the floor and made 10-of-16 free throws, while Armstrong State hit 43.4 percent of its field goal attempts, including 7-of-20 from behind the three-point arc, and was a near perfect 10-of-11 at the stripe.
FMU surrendered 18 fast-break points in the opening half, but none after halftime.