FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University women’s basketball team will return to the court after its Christmas break on Thursday (Dec. 30) when the Patriots take on Winston-Salem State University in the first game of the All-State Insurance PBC/CIAA Clash, hosted by USC Upstate.
The contest between the 3-6 Patriots and 7-2 Lady Rams will tip-off at 1 p.m. in the G.B. Hodge Center on the USC Upstate campus. The host Spartans (5-3) will play North Carolina Central University (4-5) at 3 p.m. FMU and USC Upstate will swap opponents on Friday with FMU meeting NCCU at 2 p.m. and USC Upstate playing WSSU at 4 p.m.
Live game statistics can be followed at www.uscupstate.edu/athletics
This will be the first-ever meeting between FMU and Winston-Salem State, while the Patriots have beaten N.C. Central five times in six all-time meetings.
Freshman 5-10 forward Creshenda Singletary leads FMU in both scoring and rebounding with 14.2 points and 6.3 rebounds per game averages. Senior 5-7 guard Jennifer Howard is averaging 11 ppg off the Patriot bench, while 6-0 junior guard Danielle Moore is scoring 10.4 ppg. Freshman point guard Brittany Young is fourth in scoring at 7.6 ppg, while handing out 5.6 assists per game.
Like the Patriots, WSSU features a balanced scoring attack with three players in double figures: 6-1 sophomore forward Shalonda Carter (11.9 ppg, 10.2 rpg), 5-4 sophomore guard Latoya Armstrong (11.2 ppg), and 5-6 senior guard Nikki Eason (10.6 ppg, 5.2 apg).
Following this week’s tournament, Francis Marion will open Peach Belt Conference play at home against Lander University on Jan. 5 at 5:30 p.m.
Founded in 1991, the Peach Belt Conference (PBC) has quickly become one of the elite conferences in NCAA Division II, with 21 national championships and 16 national finalists. The PBC consists of 12 members in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The conference holds championships in 12 sports, six for men and six for women.
The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA), founded in 1912, is the nation's oldest black athletic conference. The CIAA consists of twelve historically African-American institutions of higher education in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, and annually sponsors 16 men's and women's championships.