Friday, December 17, 2010

SSB leads Patriots to OT victory in the FLA

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Senior Shannon Singleton-Bates scored 22 points, including five consecutive points late in overtime, to help spark Francis Marion University to a 75-66 non-conference victory over Eckerd College, Friday afternoon (Dec. 17) in women’s college basketball action.

Francis Marion improves to 5-2, while the Tritons fall to 7-3.  FMU will play in the prestigious Crescent Bank Carolinas Challenge against Virginia Intermont College on Sunday at 5 p.m. in the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.  The Patriots will play the final game of a tripleheader with Coastal Carolina playing Butler at 1 p.m. and North Carolina meeting South Carolina at 3 p.m.  Admission for the day is $10.

Singleton-Bates, who hauled down eight rebounds, tallied 15 of her points after halftime.  Sophomore guard Courtney Mealing scored 20 points, on 8-of-13 shooting, and also buried a crucial three-pointer in the extra period. Senior point guard Robin Colbert chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds.

Senior guard Ashley Lutz scored a season-high 22 points to lead Eckerd, hitting on 10-of-20 from the field. Krystal Charles added 14 points and nine rebounds.  Tijana Brdar also had 11 points, six rebounds, and five blocks.

Eckerd jumped to an early 13-5 lead, but the Patriots rallied to knot the score at 19-19.  Francis Marion took its first lead at 25-24 on a basket by Mealing.  Eckerd scored five straight points to go up 29-25, but FMU scored the half’s final five points, including a jumper by Kristen Dickerson with 29 ticks left, to lead 30-29 at intermission.

FMU would lead by seven points on two occasions in the second stanza, the last time at 40-33.  Eckerd slowly rallied to tie the game at 56-56.  A free by Charles put the Tritons ahead 59-58 with 18 seconds remaining.

On the ensuing possession, Colbert hit a 12-foot jumper with 4.4 seconds left to give the Patriots a 60-59 advantage. After the ball was inbounded, Colbert was whistled for a foul on EC’s Taylor Young with 2.8 seconds remaining.  Young made the first free throw to tie the score, but missed the second and FMU’s Danelle Downs grabbed the rebound sending the contest into overtime.

The Patriots connected on 5-of-8 shots in the extra frame. Mealing’s three-pointer with 2:09 remaining gave FMU a 67-64 margin.  After Brdar cut the deficit to 67-66 with a layup, Singleton-Bates scored on a layup and then came up with a steal that resulted in a three-point play for the two-time honorable mention All-American.  The five consecutive points gave the Patriots a commanding six-point lead with 40.7 seconds left.

With her 22 points, Singleton-Bates moved past former Patriot great Danielle Moore and into 13th place on FMU’s career scoring list with 1,343.  Next up for the South Norwalk, Conn., native is former FMU guard Gwen Canty in 12th place with 1,397 points.

Junior 5-10 forward Simone Trice returned from a pre-season hand injury to make her appearance this season for Francis Marion.  She scored six points and grabbed a career-high equaling 11 rebounds as the Patriots outrebounded Eckerd 48-33.

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