FLORENCE, SC – After falling behind in the second quarter, the Shaw University women's basketball team couldn't quite get over the hump, dropping a 79-65 decision to Francis Marion Thursday afternoon for its non-conference finale.
Imani Heggins (Chesapeake, VA) led the Lady Bears in scoring with a game-high 21 points. She also grabbed nine rebounds and three steals while Stephanie Custodio (Chino, CA) added 13 points and a game-high seven assists.
Shaw (3-11) got off to a good start after punching in a 13-5 lead with under five minutes to go in the first quarter. The Lady Bears would on to the lead heading into the second frame with an 18-16 advantage.
The Patriots (6-4) tied the game at 18-18 on a layup from Emma Owens after just six seconds of play in the second quarter. The Lady Bears found themselves trailing by seven points when FMU knocked down a 3-pointer at the 6:31 mark. Shaw would trail 12 points twice including at the break with the scoring showing 37-25 in favor of the Patriots. The Lady Bears were held to just seven points in that quarter compared to FMU's 21 points.
In the second half, the Lady Bears trimmed the deficit but the Patriots would maintain its lead throughout the third quarter. A layup by Lillian Smith (Newport News, VA) pulled Shaw within eight points heading into the fourth quarter.
Despite being down, Shaw kept up with FMU in the fourth by exchanging baskets with the Patriots. A layup by Custodio got the Lady Bears within six points with 5:21 left but the Patriots would score four straight to extend its lead back up to double digits. The Patriots would stave off any chances of a Lady Bears comeback down the stretch as FMU salted away the win.
Shaunice Fulmore led FMU in scoring with 19 points while Keauna Williams added 10 points.
Shaw will return to action on Jan. 5 to host Virginia Union University for a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) matchup. Tipoff is slated for 6 p.m. in C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium.
For the most up-to-date information on Shaw University women's basketball and its 11 varsity sport teams, please visit www.shawbears.com.