Fast Start propels Patriots past Saints 87-60

Fast Start propels Patriots past Saints 87-60

FLORENCE, SC – Sophomore Shaunice Fulmore and junior Briana Burgins combined for 44 points and Francis Marion University posted a season-high point total in the opening half as the Patriots cruised to an 87-60 Homecoming victory over Flagler College, Saturday afternoon (Feb. 11) in Peach Belt Conference women's basketball action.

The Patriots up their record to 14-11 with their fifth straight win and seventh in the last eight games, and also move into sole possession of third place in the PBC's East Division standings with a 9-7 mark.  FMU is only one game behind second-place UNC Pembroke, who the Patriots visit in the season finale on Feb. 22.

Francis Marion will play its final home game on Wednesday as the Patriots welcome in division-leader Lander University for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off.  FMU will recognize its one senior prior to the start and it will be the program's annual Play 4 Kay breast cancer awareness contest.

Fulmore connected on 11-of-15 field goal attempts en route to a game-high 23 points, while Burgins was 10-of-16 from the floor and scored 21 points.  Junior guard Khai Chandler added 16 points and surpassed the 900-point plateau for her career, while junior guard Keanua Williams came off the bench to contribute 10.

Junior forward Tiffany Hodge led Flagler (3-20, 1-15) with 15 points and 15 rebounds, while freshman guard Kierra Crane scored 14 points.

A 15-0 run by FMU midway through the first quarter erased an early three-point Saints' lead and put the Patriots ahead for good at 19-7.  Francis Marion led 25-15 at the end of the first period as Burgin tallied nine of her points.

An 11-0 spurt by the Patriots early in the second period swelled the margin to 40-19.  Altogether, Francis Marion shot 54.5 percent from the floor and committed only two turnovers during the first 20 minutes as the Patriots assumed a commanding 52-26 halftime advantage.

The Saints crept to within 18 points with 3:08 left in the third quarter, but the Patriots held a 66-45 lead when the horn sounded to end the period.  Flagler again cut the deficit to under 20 points at 70-51 midway through the fourth period, but FMU responded with a 14-5 spurt to seal the game and allow the Homecoming crowd of 1,194 to celebrate.

For the game, Francis Marion shot a season-high 50.6 percent, including 4-of-11 from beyond the three-point arc, and the Patriots drained 5-of-7 free throws.  The Patriot defense held Flagler to 32.8 percent shooting, including 5-of-14 from three-point territory.  The Saints were 17-of-22 at the foul line.

While committing a season-low eight turnovers, Francis Marion forced 20 Saints' miscues that were converted into 29 points.

Prior to the start of Saturday's tilt, FMU recognized the two Patriot squads (1997-98 and 2015-16) that reached the NCAA Elite Eight with a plaque unveiling in the Smith University Center.


2/11/17 1:30 pm at Florence, SC (Smith University Center)
Tiffany Hodge 6-16 3-4 15; Kierra Crane 6-11 1-2 14; Alex Alford 4-12 0-0
11; Bri Roberts 1-4 6-8 8; Maggie Flynn 1-10 4-4 7; Kara McKissack 1-5 3-4
5. Totals 19-58 17-22 60.
Shaunice Fulmore 11-15 0-0 23; Briana Burgins 10-16 1-1 21; Khai Chandler
7-15 0-0 16; Keanua Williams 4-5 2-4 10; TeTe Flowers 2-7 0-0 5; Abigail
Bullock 1-7 2-2 4; Kristin Tines 1-4 0-0 2; Lauryn Bush 1-2 0-0 2; Courtney
Wood 1-1 0-0 2; Tatyana McClaney 1-5 0-0 2; Emma Owens 0-0 0-0 0; Brooke
Dixon 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 39-77 5-7 87.
Flagler College...............         15   11   19   15  -   60
Francis Marion University.....   25   27   14   21  -   87
3-point goals--Flagler College 5-14 (Alex Alford 3-5; Maggie Flynn 1-5;
Kierra Crane 1-2; Kara McKissack 0-2), Francis Marion University 4-11 (Khai
Chandler 2-6; TeTe Flowers 1-2; Shaunice Fulmore 1-1; Abigail Bullock 0-2).
Fouled out--Flagler College-None, Francis Marion University-None.
Rebounds--Flagler College 36 (Tiffany Hodge 15), Francis Marion University
40 (Kristin Tines 7). Assists--Flagler College 14 (Tiffany Hodge 5), Francis
Marion University 24 (TeTe Flowers 7). Total fouls--Flagler College 7,
Francis Marion University 15. Technical fouls--None. A-1194