GREENWOOD – The No. 6-ranked Lander women’s basketball team got 22 points from Zamiya Passmore and nearly set a school record for fewest points allowed in a game as the Bearcats defeated Peach Belt Conference rival Francis Marion 79-35 Wednesday night at Horne Arena.
Lander beat the Patriots for the eighth consecutive time, improving to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the PBC.
Francis Marion fell to 0-4 overall and 0-2 in the league.
Lander’s record for fewest points allowed in a game was 30 versus Presbyterian College during the 1977-78 season. The Patriots didn’t break past 30 until Briana White’s basket with just 58 seconds left in the game.
The Bearcats dominated from the outset, especially defensively. Francis Marion missed 20 of its first 24 shots from the floor and didn’t make its fifth basket until halfway through the third quarter.
Through its first five games this season, Lander has won by an average of 23 points. The Bearcats are now allowing 49 points per contest.
Lander is 103-21 in PBC play since the 2014-15 campaign.
Passmore, the reigning Peach Belt Conference Player of the Week, went 9-for-9 from the free-throw line, finishing with Lander team highs in points (22), assists (5) and steals (3).
Miriam Recarte added 14 points and nine rebounds for the Bearcats. Makaila Cange posted her fourth double-double in five games with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Amiaya Melvins added 11 points and a season-high nine boards for Lander. Sarah Crews also added 11 points and four assists as all five Bearcat starters reached double figures for the second consecutive game.
Aniyah Oliver paced Francis Marion with nine points.
Lander out-rebounded the Patriots 47-26 and held them to 13 of 50 shooting from the floor (26 percent), including four of 23 (17 percent) from behind the three-point line.
The Bearcats made 25 of 56 shots (45 percent), seven of 20 from behind the arc (35 percent) and 22 of 27 free throws (82 percent).
Lander dominated from the opening tipoff, building a 16-2 lead through the first quarter behind six points from Recarte and five apiece by Cange and Passmore. The Patriots missed their first eight shots of the game and went 1-for-9 from the floor in the opening period while committing seven turnovers.
Melvins completed an unusual four-point play with 5:50 left for the first points of the second quarter for either team, giving the Bearcats a 20-2 lead. She made a tough shot in the lane while fouled, missed the free throw but slipped in for the rebound and laid it in.
Lander was just 2 for 13 from the floor in the second period before Crews hit a long 3 from the left side, making it 25-5 at the 1:55 mark.
Passmore’s driving layup off a turnover with seven seconds left gave the Bearcats a 29-9 halftime lead. Francis Marion was four for 20 from the floor in the first half, including zero for eight from beyond the arc.
A Crews 3 from the left wing inceased Lander’s lead to 34-9 with 8:05 to go. The Patriots didn’t reach double-figure points until Kiana Adderton made one of two free throws with 7:34 left in the third.
Francis Marion missed its first four shots in the third to fall to four for 24, including 0 for 10 from 3-point range. But the visitors made five of their next six shots including two 3s by Ravyn Madaris and one by Oliver to pull within 45-23 inside the two-minute mark.
Passmore was fouled behind the arc as the third quarter was ending and made all three free throws, extending the Bearcat lead to 50-25 going into the fourth.
Melvins converted a three-point play and Recarte nailed a trey from the left corner, giving Lander a 56-25 advantage with nine minutes to go.
The lead grew to 40 on two Melvins free throws, making it 67-27 with 5:48 left.
Tyasia Freeman’s transition bucket and Natalia Crooke’s 3 increased Lander’s lead to 74-30 inside four minutes to go.