FLORENCE, SC – Senior forward Briana Burgins became the 28th Francis Marion University women's basketball player to reach the 1000-point plateau, but more importantly, the hoop that put her at that milestone proved to be the game-winning bucket with four seconds left as the Patriots upended Columbus State University 79-78, Tuesday (Dec. 19) evening in Peach Belt Conference women's basketball action.
Francis Marion improves to 5-3 overall and 2-1 in the PBC, while snapping Columbus State's 17-game winning streak in PBC regular-season play. The contest featured the past two NCAA Division II Southeast Region champions, as FMU advanced to the Elite Eight in 2016 and the Cougars advanced last year.
The Patriots will now take a Christmas break, before returning to action with a road conference game at Young Harris College on Dec. 30 at 1:30 p.m. The next home contest for the Patriots will be on Saturday, Jan. 6, against Clayton State University at 1:30 p.m.
Burgins finished the night with 18 points, six rebounds, and three steals. FMU junior forward Shaunice Fulmore recorded with a team-high 28 points – one shy of her career high – and also pulled down six rebounds. Senior guard Khai Chandler and sophomore guard Abigail Bullock each added 13 points, with Bullock handing out six assists coming off the bench.
Fulmore now stands only 25 points shy of joining Burgins and Chandler in the 1000 career point club.
Fulmore started the game on fire, nailing all six of her shots in the opening quarter, including a pair of three points, en route to 14 points. Sparked by the Lake City native, FMU hit nine of its first 12 shots and raced to a 28-18 lead at the end of the first period.
The Patriots cooled off in the second period and CSU closed the gap to 38-37 at halftime.
Both squads tallied 18 points in the third period leaving Francis Marion with a slim 56-55 advantage heading into the final 10 minutes. A three-pointer by Chandler gave FMU a 63-59 lead with 7:26 left, but that would prove to be the largest margin of the quarter. Eight lead changes and five ties would occur over the final 6:10 of the contest.
A three-pointer by Chandler put the Patriots on top 77-74 heading into the final minute. However, a three-point play by Wayne knotted the score at 77-77 with 50 ticks left on the clock. Following an FMU turnover, Wayne missed a three-pointer but Zoi Thompson grabbed the rebound, was fouled, and made one of the two free throws with 8.3 seconds remaining.
On the ensuing possession, Keauna Williams inbounded the ball to Burgins who drove down the baseline and put up a running one-hander from six feet out that rolled in with four seconds left. After advancing the ball to midcourt by benefit of a timeout, the Cougars had one final chance, but missed on a three-pointer just prior to the final horn sounding.
After connecting on 10-of-17 shots in the final quarter, Francis Marion finished the game shooting 44.1 percent from the floor, including 6-of-21 from three-point territory, and the Patriots hit 13-of-20 free throws. Columbus State connected on 45.5 percent of its shots, was 5-of-18 from behind the arc, and made 13-of-17 at the foul line.
Francis Marion forced 22 CSU turnovers, while committing only 12.
POST-GAME COMMENTS FROM FMU head coach Jeri Porter and senior forward Briana Burgins via FACEBOOK Live
12-19-17 5:30 pm at Florence, SC (Smith University Center)
FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY 79, COLUMBUS STATE UNIV. 78
COLUMBUS STATE UNIV. (4-3, 2-1 PBC)
Tatiana Wayne 10-20 1-1 21; Tatum Jarvis 6-11 0-1 15; Machala Raymonville
4-14 5-6 14; Jasmine Herndon 4-11 2-2 10; Chrisalyn Boston 2-3 3-3 7; Zoi
Thompson 1-1 2-4 4; Kaihla Carter 1-1 0-0 3; Eboni Williams 1-4 0-0 2;
Toxiana Wilson 1-1 0-0 2; Zomoria Clark 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-66 13-17 78.
FRANCIS MARION UNIVERSITY (5-3, 2-1 PBC)
Shaunice Fulmore 13-19 0-0 28; Briana Burgins 5-10 8-12 18; Abigail Bullock
4-9 4-4 13; Khai Chandler 5-18 0-0 13; Kristin Tines 2-3 0-0 4; Keanua
Williams 1-6 1-2 3; Alliyah Gillespie 0-0 0-0 0; Macy Passmore 0-0 0-0 0;
Khamele Manning 0-1 0-0 0; Briana White 0-1 0-0 0; Tatyana McClaney 0-1 0-2
0. Totals 30-68 13-20 79.
Columbus State Univ........... 18 19 18 23 - 78
Francis Marion University..... 28 10 18 23 - 79
3-point goals--Columbus State Univ. 5-18 (Tatum Jarvis 3-6; Machala
Raymonville 1-5; Kaihla Carter 1-1; Jasmine Herndon 0-1; Tatiana Wayne 0-5),
Francis Marion University 6-21 (Khai Chandler 3-11; Shaunice Fulmore 2-4;
Abigail Bullock 1-4; Keanua Williams 0-1; Khamele Manning 0-1). Fouled
out--Columbus State Univ.-None, Francis Marion University-Abigail Bullock.
Rebounds--Columbus State Univ. 46 (Chrisalyn Boston 11), Francis Marion
University 32 (Shaunice Fulmore 6; Briana Burgins 6). Assists--Columbus
State Univ. 13 (Kaihla Carter 3; Tatiana Wayne 3; Machala Raymonville 3),
Francis Marion University 19 (Keanua Williams 6; Abigail Bullock 6). Total
fouls--Columbus State Univ. 19, Francis Marion University 21. Technical
Charges Drawn: Herndon, Burgins, Wayne 2