Strong first half not enough
Facing their first halftime deficit of the season, undefeated Francis Marion responded by shooting 64 percent in the final stanza to rally and claim a 93-79 road win over GSW on Saturday afternoon at the Storm Dome in Peach Belt Conference women's basketball action.
Southwestern held their largest lead of the game (43-36) with 31 seconds remaining in the first half. However, two quick field goals by FMU and the Lady ‘Canes lead was trimmed to 43-40 when the halftime horn sounded.
Francis Marion (9-0, 2-0 PBC) scored the first six points of the second stanza to take a 46-43 lead. After consecutive GSW baskets put the Lady ‘Canes up briefly at 47-46, Francis Marion put together a 9-0 run and never trailed again.
A three-point play by Shannon Singleton-Bates gave FMU a 13-point advantage (67-54) with 13:31 remaining, but GSW answered with a 16-5 spurt that trimmed the Patriot lead to 72-70 with 9:01 on the clock.
Singleton-Bates hit a pair of free throws and Shana Franks converted a layup to restore the Patriot margin to five points and Francis Marion gradually pulled away for the 14-point win. Francis Marion's largest lead came at 89-73 with 4:12 left. The Patriot defense forced the Lady Hurricanes to misfire on 16 of their final 19 field goal attempts.
Brandi Burris led Southwestern (5-4, 0-2 PBC) with 19 points. Nadirah Gardner added 15 points. Brittany Reynolds posted her second double-double of the season with 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while Terra Branch scored 11 for the Lady ‘Canes.
Singleton-Bates led Francis Marion with 27 points. Jennifer Dyer scored 19 points, Franks chipped in 14 and Creshenda Singletary added 13 points for the Patriots.
Francis Marion forced 31 GSW turnovers and held a 36-21 advantage in points-off-turnovers.
The Lady Hurricanes return to the hardwood on Monday for a 5:30 p.m. Peach Belt game at Columbus State.
PICTURED: Brittany Reynolds
PHOTO BY: Chris Fenn