FLORENCE, SC – Francis Marion University sophomore Shaunice Fulmore connected on a 13-foot jump shot in the lane with 1.6 seconds left to lift the Patriots to a thrilling 71-70 victory over USC Aiken, Saturday afternoon (Feb. 4) in Peach Belt Conference women's basketball action.
Francis Marion wins for the fifth time in its last six outings to climb to 12-11 overall and 7-7 in the PBC. The Patriots are in sole possession of fourth place in the East Division standings and only two games behind USCA (13-10, 9-5) and UNC Pembroke, who are tied for second.
FMU will play at Augusta University on Wednesday night at 5:30 p.m., before returning home to host Flagler College for Homecoming on Feb. 11 at 1:30 p.m.
Fulmore tallied 24 points, only two shy of her career-high set on Wednesday against Armstrong State University. The Lake City native connected on 11-of-18 field goal attempts and also pulled down seven rebounds. Seventeen of her points came after halftime.
Junior forward Briana Burgins scored 15 points, while senior guard TeTe Flowers and junior guard Keanua Williams each chipped in 12 points. Flowers also handed out eight assists. Junior center Kristin Tines grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.
Freshman 6-1 forward Kwajelin Farrar led the Pacers with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Reserves Rachelle Aupont and Kate Duff added 13 and 12 points respectively.
After Fulmore's go-ahead hoop, USCA called time out and chose to advance the ball to half court. On the inbounds pass, Fulmore closely defended Aupont, who's 22-foot three-pointer was no good at the final buzzer.
Both squads started slow, combining for only 16 points (an 8-8 tie) after the opening 8:30. However, scoring picked up and the Pacers led 19-15 at the end of the first quarter. Both teams scored 23 points in the second period giving USCA a 42-38 advantage at halftime.
Francis Marion held the Pacers to only 10 points in the third quarter on 4-of-13 shooting. FMU trailed 50-44, but a 12-2 spurt over seven minutes allowed the Patriots to claim a 56-52 edge heading to the fourth period.
USCA scored the opening eight points of the final quarter, capped by a fast-break bucket by Farrar that gave the Pacers a 60-56 lead. FMU did not score for the opening 4:44 of the final 10-minute stanza. However, Fulmore re-entered the game and scored three straight baskets and a free throw by Burgins reclaimed the lead for the Patriots at 63-60 with 3:59 on the clock.
A four-point play by Duff put USCA back on top 68-67 with two minutes remaining. FMU regained the lead (69-68) on a pair of free throws by Williams with 59 ticks remaining. A lay-in by Farrar with six seconds left reversed the advantage to the Pacers at 70-69 and FMU called time out and advanced the ball to half court setting the stage for Fulmore's heroics.
It was the second consecutive game that FMU has won in the final 18 seconds after Chandler's game-winner on Wednesday against Armstrong State.
Both teams shot an identical 47.5 percent from the floor. FMU was 3-of-10 from behind the three-point arc and hit 12-of-16 free throws, while USC Aiken was 7-of-17 from three-point range and made 7-of-10 charity tosses.
2/4/17 1:30 pm at Florence, SC (Smith University Center) FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY 71, USC AIKEN 70 USC AIKEN (13-10, 9-5 PBC) Kwajelin Farrar 9-13 0-2 18; Rachelle Aupont 3-11 6-6 13; Kate Duff 4-6 1-1 12; Carly Gilreath 5-12 0-1 10; Jasmine Coach 3-8 0-0 6; Melyk Taouil 2-2 0-0 6; Alexis Ware 1-2 0-0 3; Emily Waters 1-3 0-0 2; Celine Vega 0-0 0-0 0; Sade Johnson 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 28-59 7-10 70. FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY (12-11 , 7-7 PBC) Shaunice Fulmore 11-18 1-1 24; Briana Burgins 6-12 3-6 15; Keanua Williams 4-11 2-2 12; TeTe Flowers 4-9 4-4 12; Khai Chandler 3-8 2-3 8; Lauryn Bush 0-0 0-0 0; Tatyana McClaney 0-0 0-0 0; Kristin Tines 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-59 12-16 71. USC Aiken..................... 19 23 10 18 - 70 Francis Marion University..... 15 23 18 15 - 71 3-point goals--USC Aiken 7-17 (Kate Duff 3-3; Melyk Taouil 2-2; Alexis Ware 1-2; Rachelle Aupont 1-5; Carly Gilreath 0-5), Francis Marion University 3-10 (Keanua Williams 2-2; Shaunice Fulmore 1-2; TeTe Flowers 0-2; Khai Chandler 0-4). Fouled out--USC Aiken-None, Francis Marion University-Khai Chandler. Rebounds--USC Aiken 31 (Kwajelin Farrar 12), Francis Marion University 32 (Kristin Tines 9). Assists--USC Aiken 21 (Carly Gilreath 8), Francis Marion University 14 (TeTe Flowers 8). Total fouls--USC Aiken 15, Francis Marion University 16. Technical fouls--None. A-651 Charges Drawn: Taouil 2