Women’s Basketball: Lady Pats drop heartbreaker
Francis Marion center Lauryn Taylor poured in a career-high 23 points, but a late 12-0 run allowed Clayton State to escape with a 77-75 win over the Lady Patriots, Saturday in Peach Belt Conference women’s basketball action.
Francis Marion (0-6, 0-5) hosted USC Aiken on Monday in a make-up of a contest that was postponed earlier in the year.
Taylor, a product of Spring Valley High School, connected on 10-of-16 field goal attempts in her first home appearance as a Patriot. She also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds and collected two steals. Freshman guard Aniyah Oliver equaled her career-high of 13 points for the third time this season, while sophomore guard Scarlett Gilmore tallied 12 points and a team-high six assists.
Freshman guard Jadah Waite led Clayton State (7-2, 7-2) with 20 points, while junior forward Audrey McElhaney registered 18 points and eight rebounds.
Clayton State raced to an early 12-2 lead and led by as many as 13 points (19-6) before settling for a 21-15 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
That margin expanded to 26-15 early in the second period, but eight straight points by FMU trimmed the deficit to 26-23. Francis Marion completed the comeback from the early deficit when Oliver knotted the score at 34-34 on two free throws late in the period. The Lakers owned a 36-34 halftime lead when Waite made two free throws of her own with three seconds left.
FMU staked claim to its first lead when sophomore forward Jasmine Stanley opened the third-quarter scoring with a three-point play. A 7-0 run by the Patriots midway through the period snapped a 43-43 deadlock. A pull-up three-pointer by Oliver gave FMU a nine-point cushion (53-44) and the Patriots would hold a 59-51 advantage at the end of the quarter. Francis Marion made 10-of-15 field goal attempts in the 10 minutes following halftime and outscored the Lakers 25-15.
FMU shot a season-high 51.9 percent from the floor and was 19-of-22 at the free throw stripe. The Lakers were held to only 35 percent shooting from the floor, but nailed 31-of-37 free throw attempts.