GREENWOOD – The Lander women's basketball team scored more than 100 points against a Peach Belt Conference opponent in back-to-back games for the first time in program history Wednesday night as the Bearcats routed Francis Marion 107-70 in the PBC Tournament quarterfinals at Horne Arena. The 107 points is a new Peach Belt Conference Tournament single-game record.
The Bearcats also set tournament records with 59 second-half points, 42 made field goals and 29 assists.
The 107 points broke the previous tournament record of 102 set by then Augusta State University in 1999, and that was an overtime game.
Lander improved to 22-7 overall and will face Columbus State in the PBC semifinals Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The sixth-seeded Cougars rallied from a 38-20 halftime deficit to beat No. 3 Flagler 71-68 in overtime Wednesday night on a three-point play at the buzzer.
The championship game will be played on Sunday.
[The first quarter] was a wake-up call," said head coach Kevin Pederson. "Fortunately, they responded and, like we've seen so many times this season, we kept going and going until we found that run."
Second-seeded Lander trailed the seventh-seeded Patriots early in the second quarter Wednesday before turning the game around with a 21-1 run. The Bearcats outscored Francis Marion 28-12 in the second period and were never threatened the rest of the way.
Lander beat Augusta University 105-63 in the regular-season finale Saturday. The Bearcats last scored 100 or more points in consecutive games in 2015-16 but against non-conference opponents.
Francis Marion ended its season at 12-15. Patriots senior Shaunice Fulmore, who led the PBC in scoring with 19.3 points per game this season, didn't score until the fourth quarter and wound up with just seven points in her final career contest.
Mylea McKenith paced Lander with 21 points in her final game at Horne Arena. She led the team with a trio of three-pointers.
Tabitha Dailey added 19 points for the Bearcats on eight of 11 shooting from the floor while grabbing seven rebounds.
Symone Starks contributed 16 points and seven rebounds while pacing Lander with seven of the team's tournament record 29 assists.
Jessica Harris added 15 points despite early foul trouble for the Bearcats. She played only eight minutes in the first half.
Amiaya Melvins contributed 15 points on six of eight shooting while leading Lander with eight rebounds. She also had four assists and four steals.
Senior Ariana Sanders added eight points and five assists in her final game at Horne Arena. Freshman Miriam Recarte contributed seven points, five boards and three blocked shots in her first PBC Tournament game.
Tatyana McClaney paced Francis Marion with 17 points, Abigail Bullock added 12 points, and Kiana Adderton 10.
There were four lead changes in the opening quarter, with Lander forging ahead late to lead 19-18 going into the second period.
Francis Marion scored the first two baskets of the second quarter for a 22-19 lead. But only four and a half minutes later, the Bearcats were up 40-23 on the strength of a 21-1 run.
Starks scored eight of the 21 points, Dailey added six points during the run, and McKenith capped the rally with Lander's first made three-pointer in eight attempts for a 40-23 advantage with 3:53 left in the half.
Starks and McKenith each added threes as the Bearcats led 48-30 at the break.
Lander had 13 offensive rebounds in the first half while outscoring the Patriots 34-12 in the paint.
McKenith, Recarte, Harris and Starks made threes early in the third quarter as the Bearcat lead grew to 63-35.
Lander's advantage reached 30 points when Melvins broke free under the basket and hit a layup off a pass from Starks, making it 69-39 with 4:38 to go.
McKenith's layup off a long pass from Harris pushed the Bearcats past the 80-point mark before the end of the third quarter, making it 81-45.
Lander led 83-47 going into the final period.
The Bearcats extended their lead to 91-51 just inside the seven-minute mark on a Sarah Crews jumper near the free-throw line.
Sanders made a layup off a pass from Crews as Lander passed the century mark, making it 101-64 with 2:35 to go.
Dailey's two free throws with 2:09 left gave the Bearcats the PBC Tournament points record.