AUGUSTA, Ga. – Augusta State scored the first basket in regulation, then failed to lead the rest of the way as Francis Marion held on for a 59-51 Peach Belt Conference victory Saturday.
The loss drops ASU to 11-12 overall, 6-9 in the PBC. FMU improves to 8-14, 3-11.
The Patriots rushed to a quick 9-2 lead with 16:32 on the clock on Smone Trice's trey from the right wing, and the lead gradually built to an 11-point margin at the half.
"We have to play hard and loose out there, and it's been hard to get that mindset together," head coach Nate Teymer said.
ASU came out firing in the second half, pulling within eight on Amber Peterson's steal and ensuing layup to cut it to 34-26; The Lady Jags held steady for the next 13 minutes before J Ashby knocked home two free throws with 1:09 to pull within four, but FMU put the clamps on by making their free throws down the stretch.
Trice led all scorers with 16 on the day; the Patriots had four players in double figures, as Brittany Christian (11 points), T.T. Belcher (10 points, nine rebounds), and Chelsey Johnson (10 points) all contributed.
The Lady Jags shot 35.6 percent from the floor on 16-of-45 shooting, including 4-of-15 (26.7 percent) from behind the arc. Franics Marion made 22-of-53 buckets (41.5 percent) and an identical 4-of-15 from downtown.
FMU outscored ASU 26-20 in the paint, and won the rebounding battle 36-30, including 15-11 on the offensive glass.
The Lady Jags return to action Wednesday, February 15 for Senior Night against USC Aiken at Christenberry Fieldhouse. Tip is slated for 5:30 p.m.