Myrick paces Lady Bearcats to first PBC victory
FLORENCE – The Lander women's basketball team won its Peach Belt Conference opener Wednesday night when the Lady Bearcats held off a late Francis Marion rally to defeat the Lady Patriots, 54-51, at the Smith University Center.
Lander improves to 3-2 overall and 1-0 in the PBC, while FMU drops to 2-3, 0-1.
The Lady Patriots were led by T.T Belcher's 12-point, 12-rebound double-double, while Emilee Dunton added 11 points.
Lander, which rallied late in the first half to force a 33-33 knot at halftime, connected on 19-of-53 field goals for 35.8 percent, including 5-of-18 from the three-point line for 28.6 percent. The Lady Bearcats made 11-of-20 free throws for 55 percent.
FMU made 20-of-59 floor shots for 33.9 percent, including 4-of-15 threes for 26.7 percent. FMU sank 7-of-11 foul shots for 63.6 percent.
Lander looked like it was ready to coast in for the win when Ealey netted a layup and a three pointer to give her team a 52-45 lead with 1:06 remaining in the game, but FMU's Belcher and Carmella Thompson both hit layups to trim the LU lead to 52-49 with 18 seconds.
Myrick followed with two foul shots to put Lander up 54-49.
The Lady Bearcats took an early 4-0 lead when Ciara Lyons took the opening tip in for a layup and Small followed with a pair of free throws. Lander stretched the margin to 10-2 at the 16:12 mark on a three-point field goal by Jasmine Judge, who was 3-for-7 from behind the arc.
FMU came back to cut the margin to 17-16 at 12:51 on a Danielle Gibson layup, then took its first lead at 19-18 on a Dunton three at 11:36. The Lady Patriots built a five-point lead, their biggest of the game, at 8:18 when Hattie Harris' fastbreak layup gave FMU a 26-21 advantage.
But Lander came right back to tie the game at 26-26 on another Judge three at 6:55.
The second half got off to a slow start as neither team netted a field goal until 16:06 when Lander's Lyons finally broke the silence to give LU a 36-33 advantage.
Neither team could make a second-half break until Lander went up 44-39 with 7:02 on a Lyons layup.