Lady Cougars complete perfect road trip with win over Francis Marion

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FLORENCE, S.C. – Playing its third road game in six days, the 24th-ranked Columbus State University women’s basketball team rallied for a 63-52 win at Francis Marion on Monday. The Peach Belt Conference contest was played inside the Smith University Center.

Ashley Asouzu registered another monster double-double, going for 21 points and 13 rebounds. The junior now has seven double-doubles on the season. Alexis Carter came up one board shy of one of her own to go with 14 points. Britteny Tatum added 10 points, while Gabby Williams grabbed a season-best nine rebounds.

“We came out a little sluggish in the first half,” head coach Anita Howard said. “Francis Marion really pushed us and we had to play really hard to dig ourselves out of the early hole.”

Trailing at halftime for just the second time this season, the Lady Cougars had their work cut out for them in the second half.

Down 32-20, Williams got CSU’s comeback effort started with her only three-pointer of the day. Two straight buckets from Asouzu and another from Williams made it a 9-0 run and a three-point game.

Francis Marion (7-10, 2-6 PBC) scored five straight to stretch the lead back to eight, but the Lady Cougars had another run ready. Tatiana Wayne made her only field goal of the game count, burying a three to finish the 8-0 spurt and tie the game at 37.

The game went to the fourth tied at 41, where Columbus State (13-1, 7-1) continued its strong play.

Playing with four fouls, Tatum came off the bench and scored the opening five points to give CSU its first lead since 6-4. Carter then went to work, scoring eight of CSU’s next 10 points as part of a 15-2 stretch that saw the Lady Cougars take a 56-43 advantage.

FMU had one final run in it scoring the next eight points to make the game interesting. However, the Lady Cougars closed the game on a 7-1 run to complete a perfect road trip.

Columbus State dug itself in the hole after shooting just 25 percent in the first half, while allowing the Patriots to shoot 41.9 percent with five three-pointers.

The Lady Cougars finished the game at 37.9 percent overall after a 17-for-34 performance in the second half.

CSU held Francis Marion to just 25 percent in the final two quarters, as the Patriots were at 34.5 percent for the game.

Columbus State will now return home for its first of two meetings with Georgia College this season. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday inside the Lumpkin Center.COURTESY CSU SPORTS INFORMATION

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