March 15, 2009

Courtesy of Francis Marion

HICKORY, NC -  Senior Creshenda Singletary and sophomore Shannon Singleton-Bates scored 15 points each to lead six players in double figures as fourth-seeded and 17th-ranked Francis Marion University crushed top-seeded and 19th-ranked Lenoir-Rhyne College 93-74, Saturday night (March 14) in the semifinals of the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional women's basketball tournament.

Francis Marion (27-4) advances to its fifth Sweet Sixteen and will face fellow Peach Belt Conference member Clayton State University in Monday's regional final at 7 p.m.  The winner of that game advances to the Elite Eight in San Antonio, Texas.

Third-seeded Clayton State defeated second-seeded Tusculum College 79-68 in Saturday's first semifinal contest.

FMU senior guard Jennifer Dyer scored 14 points, while senior point guard Kevina Ransom tallied 13 points, seven assists, and five steals.  In the process, the Roanoke Rapids, N.C., native moved into eighth place on the school's career assists list with 341, passing former FMU great Lynette Mickle.

Freshman 6-0 center Dominique Powell, playing in her hometown of Hickory, added 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds coming off the bench.  Junior guard Eboni Fields chipped in 11 points.

Freshman guard Cameron Sealey led Lenoir-Rhyne (27-5) with 18 points, while Amber Holt and LaCourtney Rann scored 13 points apiece.  The frenetic FMU defense held the Bears' top scorer, 6-0 junior center Denise Moore, to only four free throws and no field goal attempts.

After FMU jumped to a 5-0 lead, Lenoir-Rhyne answered with a 14-2 run that put the Patriots in a 14-7 hole.  Two free throws by the Bears' Kristen Fulmer put the deficit at 18-12 with 11:27 left in the first half.

A running jumper by Powell ignited an 18-4 Francis Marion run over a five-and-a-half minute span that gave the Patriots a 30-22 advantage.  The FMU lead would grow to 43-29 following a fast-break 24-foot three-pointer by Dyer with 1:25 on the clock.

Six straight free throws by the Bears in the final 1:18 trimmed the margin to 43-35 at halftime.

In the second half, the Patriots played perhaps their best 20 minutes of basketball, shooting 52.8 percent from the floor, 10-of-12 from the foul line, while forcing 11 turnovers and holding Lenoir-Rhyne to 37.5 percent shooting.

A 19-4 run over the opening 5:19 of the second stanza produced a 62-39 FMU lead while quieting the crowd of 1,220.  Six different Patriots scored in the run, headed by six points from Singleton-Bates.  Following the Bears' first bucket of the second half at the 14:10 mark, FMU followed with a 19-8 run that gave the Patriots a commanding 81-49 advantage with still 8:24 remaining.  Singleton-Bates contributed nine points to that spurt.

The margin remained around 30 points until Lenoir-Rhyne closed the game with a 14-3 run.

 

03/14/09 8:00 p.m. at Hickory, N.C. (Shuford Gymnasium)
#17 FRANCIS MARION 93,#19  LENOIR-RHYNE 74

FRANCIS MARION (27-4)
Singletary,Creshenda 7-11 1-2 15; Singleton-Bates, Sha 6-9 3-3 15; Dyer,
Jennifer 5-11 0-0 14; Ransom, Kevina 4-8 5-6 13; Powell, Dominique 5-7 2-3
12; Fields, Eboni 3-9 2-4 11; Colbert, Robin 3-4 0-1 6; Downs, Danelle 2-5
1-1 5; Franks, Shana 0-4 2-2 2; Wheatland, Keahna 0-0 0-0 0; Kiefer,
Katherine 0-0 0-0 0; Howze, Tenisha 0-1 0-0 0; Ruff, Evelyn 0-1 0-0 0;
Morgan, Shaquana 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 35-70 16-22 93.
LENOIR-RHYNE (27-5)
Sealey, Cameron 6-14 4-5 18; Holt, Amber 5-13 3-3 13; Rann, LaCourtney 2-6
9-11 13; Fulmer, Kristen 1-3 5-6 7; Webster, Meredith 2-3 0-0 6; Safrit,
Jami 1-7 2-2 4; Moore, Denise 0-0 4-4 4; Mitch, Brittany 2-7 0-1 4; Conetta,
Leslie 1-1 0-0 3; Hanner, Erin 1-1 0-0 2; Kremer, Jacquelyn 0-1 0-0 0; Munn,
Abby 0-0 0-0 0; Williams, Jackie 0-0 0-0 0; Culler, Whitley 0-3 0-0 0.
Totals 21-59 27-32 74.
Halftime: Francis Marion 43  Lenoir-Rhyne  35.
3-point goals--Francis Marion 7-17 (Dyer, Jennifer 4-7; Fields, Eboni 3-8;
Ruff, Evelyn 0-1; Singleton-Bates, Sha 0-1), Lenoir-Rhyne 5-20 (Webster,
Meredith 2-3; Sealey, Cameron 2-4; Conetta, Leslie 1-1; Safrit, Jami 0-4;
Mitch, Brittany 0-3; Rann, LaCourtney 0-1; Holt, Amber 0-4). Fouled
out--Francis Marion-Singletary,Creshenda, Lenoir-Rhyne-None.
Rebounds--Francis Marion 42 (Powell, Dominique 8), Lenoir-Rhyne 39 (Moore,
Denise 8). Assists--Francis Marion 19 (Ransom, Kevina 7), Lenoir-Rhyne 12
(Safrit, Jami 4). Total fouls--Francis Marion 28, Lenoir-Rhyne 21. Technical
fouls--Safrit, Jami. A-1220