No. 25 Bearcats race past Francis Marion behind Johnson's 28 points

No. 25 Bearcats race past Francis Marion behind Johnson's 28 points

FLORENCE, S.C. – The No. 25-ranked Lander women's basketball team got 20 second half points from Breshay Johnson and used a 20-5 fourth quarter run to vanquish in-state rival Francis Marion 86-60 on Wednesday night. 

The Bearcats (12-2, 7-1 PBC) converted 28 Patriot turnovers in 32 points and dominated the paint, outscoring FMU 44-28 in the key. Francis Marion's (8-4, 5-2 PBC) last lead came with 45 seconds left in the first quarter. 

Johnson led the Bearcats in scoring with a seaon-high 28 points while adding seven rebounds and three steals. Chelsea Mitchell recorded her third double-double of the season with 15 points and a team-high 13 rebounds. Destinee Langford netted 19 points and Jessica Harris posted 12 points, nine assists and six steals. The Bearcat defense recorded a seaon-high 20 steals in the game. 

After a back-and-forth opening period, Lander opened up a double-digit lead by scoring the final seven points of the half, taking a 44-33 lead into intermission.

The two teams fought to an even third quarter, with Johnson scoring all nine of Lander's final points in the period. A layup from Keauna Williams cut the Bearcat lead to 66-55 with 5:30 remaining, but Mitchell answered with a jumper to begin Lander's run. Langford followed a missed Patriot three-pointer with seven consecutive points, including a pair of threes. Mitchell then added a layup and a free throw to cap a 12-0 spurt. 

Francis Marion broke its dry spell with consecutive baskets, but the Bearcats outscored the Patriots 8-1 over the final 2:37 to wrap up the night. 

The best free-throw shooting team in the Peach Belt, Lander was strong from the charity stripe again, converting 18-of-21 trips to the line. 

Lander travels to Georgia College on Saturday for a 1:30 matchup.