FLORENCE, S.C. — The Francis Marion women’s basketball team was off and running.
And running some more.
The Patriots’ starts to the first and third quarters were more than enough to win 75-54 on Monday in the team’s home opener against Claflin.
Zaria Woods had a lot to do with that, dominating in the paint with 17 points, followed by Kiana Adderton (12 points, nine rebounds) and Abigail Bullock (11 points).
“It’s very important for me to get off to a quick start,” said Woods, who was 8 of 9 from the free-throw line. “My team wasn’t hitting from the outside, so they needed me on the inside doing what I do. And getting off to a quick start was just what I had to do to help my team.”
Patriots coach Jeri Porter was just as pleased.
“She was huge,” Porter said. “Even when the 3-ball is falling for us, she’s big, because she’s such a good passer and post player. When you talk about running the offense inside out, we want to get (Woods) touches — whether she scores or kicks it back out. She makes really good decisions. I think very few people can guard her. She’s a very big key for us.
“She was even one of the few kids on our team last year that finished with more assists than turnovers. Our problem last year was we didn’t think she was scoring enough. But now, she’s starting to put it all together.”
If there was one dim spot to Monday’s game, it was FMU’s starts to the second and fourth quarters.
“It’s kind of difficult to not go to the couple of quarters where we could have been better,” said Porter, whose team’s biggest lead was 24 points in the fourth quarter. “But the way we’ve started both halves has kind of been a signature for us the past few games in how we played our exhibition games as well as the opener at Barton (also a win).
“I think this team is pretty strong. We’re comfortable with the group we have the floor at the beginning of the game It’s a pretty long and athletic group that does a good job defending. Hopefully, this is something we can lock in on and make a part of what we do well for the entirety of the season.”A five-time APSE national contest honoree, Scott recently authored his first book,”70 Years of Thrills and Chills, Drama and Dents at Darlington Raceway.” In college, Scott played on a tennis scholarship and earned degrees from Young Harris College (Ga.) and Berry College (Ga.).