DAHLONEGA, Ga. – Twelfth-ranked University of North Georgia outscored Francis Marion University by 11 during the second quarter and then held off a fourth-quarter Patriot rally to take a 77-65 victory over FMU on Monday in Peach Belt Conference women’s basketball action.
Francis Marion will host Augusta University on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Attendance is limited to 250 and that includes only season ticket holders, FMU students with pre-acquired tickets, and player/staff family members identified on a pre-game pass list. No general admission game-day tickets will be sold.
Sophomore guard Scarlett Gilmore led FMU with a career-high 23 points, while freshman 6-0 center Lauryn Taylor tallied 19 points and nine rebounds. Taylor scored 17 of her points in the first half on 7-of-7 shooting.
Julianne Sutton led North Georgia (15-1, 12-1) with 23 points and 11 rebounds.
A Nighthawk bucket to open the fourth quarter pushed the margin to 12 points at 63-51, but a 12-4 run by Francis Marion left the Patriots trailing by only 67-63 with 3:43 left. Freshman guard Aniyah Oliver completed the run with a three-pointer. However, UNG scored 10 of the final 12 points to secure the win.
Francis Marion connected on 42.2 percent of its field goal attempts, including 8-of-22 from behind the arc, while UNG shot 48.3 percent from the floor. The Nighthawks held a commanding advantage at the free throw line by making 14-of-21 compared to FMU’s 3-of-5.
UNG jumped out to an early 7-2 lead, but Francis Marion responded with seven straight points to assume a 9-7 advantage. After a Nighthawk three-pointer, the Patriots rattled off 10 straight points to take a 19-10 advantage, capped by a three-pointer by Gilmore with 4:14 left in the period. North Georgia closed the first with an 8-1 spurt to draw within 20-18 as the horn sounded.
The run continued in the second quarter as UNG scored 14 of the first 19 points to take a 32-25 lead. The Patriots responded with lay-ups by Taylor and Gilmore to trim the deficit to 32-29. A 7-0 run by UNG stretch the margin to 39-29, but again Francis Marion rallied. Two hoops by Taylor and a basket by Gilmore got FMU within 39-35 with 1:14 left before halftime. However, two baskets by UNG extended the Nighthawk lead to 44-35 at intermission.
The lead swelled to 13 on two occasions in the third period, but Gilmore contributed nine points to an 11-4 spurt as Francis Marion cut the margin to 57-51. UNG led 61-51 at the end of the third quarter.