GREENWOOD, SC – Top-seed and No.4-ranked Columbus State University used a 22-0 run that started in the first quarter and carried over into the second quarter to take control of Saturday night's (March 4) semifinal game with Francis Marion University and the Cougars went on to a 70-50 win in the 2017 Marvin Vanover Peach Belt Conference Women's Basketball Tournament presented by Jani-King.
Francis Marion saw its nine-game winning streak snapped and the Patriots end their season with an 18-12 mark. Columbus State (27-1) advances to face the East Division's top seed Lander University, which defeated Clayton State University 97-60 in Saturday's first semifinal, in the PBC title game on Sunday at 4:30 p.m., also in Greenwood, S.C.
Sophomore Shaunice Fulmore led Francis Marion with 18 points, while junior Khai Chandler scored 14 points, and in the process drew to within 22 points of the 1,000-point plateau for her career. Junior forward Briana Burgins registered her sixth double-double of the year with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Junior center Kristin Tines also hauled down 12 rebounds for FMU, while the squad's lone senior TeTe Flowers finished with six points, seven rebounds, and three assists.
Alexis Carter led the Cougars with 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Ashley Asouzu added 15 points.
Francis Marion took a 9-7 lead after a jump shot by junior Keanua Williams with 2:48 remaining in the first quarter. However, CSU scored the final six points of the period to take a 13-9 advantage. The run continued into the second quarter as the Cougars eventually took a 29-9 lead while Francis Marion went scoreless for a span of 8:05. Columbus State led 38-19 at halftime.
The Patriots drew to within 15 points at 40-25 following a bucket by Chandler with 6:28 left in the third period, but that would be as close as FMU would get. CSU led 51-34 at the end of the third period.
Francis Marion shot 27.9 percent from the floor and was 8-of-12 at the foul line, while Columbus State connected on 41.2 percent of its shots and was 11-of-20 at the stripe.
CSU forced 25 Patriot turnovers that were converted into 28 points.