FLORENCE, SC – Shaunice Fulmore celebrated Senior Night with 31 points as Francis Marion University led for more than 38 minutes en route to a 76-52 victory over local-rival UNC Pembroke, Wednesday night (Feb. 27) in Peach Belt Conference women's basketball action.
The win improves Francis Marion to 11-14 overall and 8-13 in Peach Belt play, bringing the Patriots into a tie for seventh-place in the standings with Georgia College. FMU travels to face the Bobcats in the final game of the regular season on Sunday afternoon (Mar. 3) at 1:30 p.m. A Francis Marion win, or a UNC Pembroke loss at Flagler College on Saturday, clinches a berth for FMU in next week's Peach Belt Conference Tournament.
Fulmore's 31 points were a game-high, and it was the second 30-point performance of the season for the Lake City native. She also added a game-high six steals and grabbed five rebounds to pass Cassandra Bishop (1980-82) and move into 17th on Francis Marion's career rebounding list with 652.
Sophomore forward Kiana Adderton was the lone other Patriot in double-figures with 10. In her final game at the Smith University Center, graduate student Briana Burgins chipped in six points and a team-high seven rebounds. Fellow seniors Brooke Dixon and Lauryn Bush had six points apiece.
Junior guard Tee Graham led UNC Pembroke (8-19, 7-14) with 15 points, while junior forward Aliyah Farmer came off the bench to score 10 for the Braves.
Francis Marion held a slight edge throughout most of the first quarter, with Adderton connecting on a pair of three-pointers late in the period to give the Patriots a 21-16 advantage at the horn.
FMU opened the second quarter on a 9-1 run, with a Fulmore triple pushing the lead to 30-17 with 6:26 to go in the opening half. A three-point play by sophomore guard Khamele Manning stretched the margin to 14, the largest of the first half, at 39-25, before a 6-0 UNCP spurt briefly trimmed the Patriot lead back into single-digits. Francis Marion headed to the locker room in front 43-31.
Five straight points from Fulmore helped fuel a 7-0 FMU run near the midway point of the third quarter which ballooned the Patriot advantage to 52-33. The senior scored 13 in the third quarter, including three three-pointers, to help Francis Marion carry a 61-43 lead into the final period.
The Patriots led by no fewer than 16 in the fourth quarter, and led by as many as 25. FMU's defense helped finish the job, holding the Braves without a field goal for the final 5:00 of the contest. UNCP hit just 3-of-16 from the floor, and scored nine points in the final period.
Fulmore left the Smith University Court for the final time with 46 seconds left to a standing ovation. She stands sixth on the FMU career scoring list and the seventh on the PBC career list with 1,858 points.
For the game, FMU went 26-for-75 from the field (34.7 percent), including 8-of-31 from beyond the arc. The Patriots made 16-of-20 at the foul line. UNC Pembroke shot 38.2 percent from the floor (21-of-55), and was held to two makes on 11 three-point attempts. The Braves knocked down 8-of-13 at the charity stripe.
Francis Marion forced 24 turnovers while committing only nine, resulting in a 25-7 edge in points scored off of turnovers. The nine turnovers were the second-lowest total committed by the Patriots this season. FMU also enjoyed a 44-40 rebounding edge, including 20-12 on the offensive glass, which led to outscoring the Braves 18-4 in second-chance points.
Post-game comments from FMU senior Shaunice Fulmore and FMU head coach Jeri Porter
02/27/19 5:30 pm at Florence, SC (Smith University Center)
FRANCIS MARION 76, UNC PEMBROKE 52
UNC PEMBROKE (8-19 , 7-14)
Tee Graham 7-11 0-0 15; Aliyah Farmer 2-3 6-9 10; Se'Dasia Love 4-5 0-0 8;
Melanie Horne 3-6 0-0 7; Jillian Ebron 2-4 1-2 5; Danielle Heath 2-6 0-0 4;
ShaNiya Lester 1-4 0-0 2; Brianna Baham 0-1 1-2 1; Naomi Gilbert 0-7 0-0 0;
Treycie Ford 0-2 0-0 0; Avery Locklear 0-2 0-0 0; Alecia Hardy 0-4 0-0 0.
Totals 21-55 8-13 52.
FRANCIS MARION (11-14 , 8-13)
Shaunice Fulmore 12-26 2-2 31; Kiana Adderton 3-9 2-2 10; Abigail Bullock
4-12 0-3 8; Brooke Dixon 2-9 1-2 6; Briana Burgins 1-7 4-4 6; Lauryn Bush
2-2 2-2 6; Khamele Manning 1-3 3-3 5; Zaria Woods 1-3 2-2 4; Camryn Johnson
0-1 0-0 0; Briana White 0-0 0-0 0; Tatyana McClaney 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 26-75
UNC Pembroke.................. 16 15 12 9 - 52
Francis Marion................ 21 22 18 15 - 76
3-point goals--UNC Pembroke 2-11 (Tee Graham 1-2; Melanie Horne 1-2; ShaNiya
Lester 0-2; Brianna Baham 0-1; Naomi Gilbert 0-1; Treycie Ford 0-1; Avery
Locklear 0-1; Alecia Hardy 0-1), Francis Marion 8-31 (Shaunice Fulmore 5-12;
Kiana Adderton 2-4; Brooke Dixon 1-8; Khamele Manning 0-1; Abigail Bullock
0-6). Fouled out--UNC Pembroke-None, Francis Marion-Lauryn Bush.
Rebounds--UNC Pembroke 40 (Melanie Horne 5; Alecia Hardy 5; Naomi Gilbert
5), Francis Marion 44 (Briana Burgins 7). Assists--UNC Pembroke 10 (Avery
Locklear 4; Tee Graham 4), Francis Marion 15 (Zaria Woods 4). Total
fouls--UNC Pembroke 24, Francis Marion 15. Technical fouls--None. A-982
Bush Dixon Fulmore