SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – An explosive fourth quarter helped Franklin & Marshall's women's basketball team to a decisive 62-48 win against UC Santa Cruz to close out 2018 on Sunday. The Diplomats improved to 5-5 while the Banana Slugs dropped to 7-7.
Kristin Hamill tallied the first bucket of the game to help F&M jump out to an early 9-2 lead with 6:23 left in the first after a three-pointer from Haley Pilone. Sarah Pisani knocked down a three to increase the deficit to 12-5 with just over three minutes left while another Pilone three gave the Diplomats a 10-point advantage at the end of the first.
The Banana Slugs looked to battle back in the second quarter, coming within seven, but a layup from Alisyn Narracci ended a five-point surge with 5:24 left in the half. Both teams exchanged buckets late into the quarter with F&M holding on to a six-point lead at the break.
A Sarosha Parsons layup kept F&M's advantage at eight with 7:06 left in the third quarter. A free throw from Lindsey Powers kept the Diplomats ahead by five, but Santa Cruz took the momentum, cutting the deficit to three going into the final quarter.
F&M came out with vengeance in the fourth, going on a 10-0 run in the opening three minutes that included five points from Kenna Williams to keep a 52-39 lead. Santa Cruz responded with six unanswered points, but a Pilone three at the 3:49 mark kept the deficit in double-digits. F&M ended the game with a 5-0 run over the final two and a half minutes to ensure the 62-48 victory.
Pilone led all scorers with 24 points, tying her career-high with six from behind the arc. Hamill tallied a double-double of 16 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, which helped F&M own a 45-31 edge on the boards.
F&M resumes action in 2019 with a matchup against Centennial Conference opponent Ursinus on Saturday, Jan. 5 at 1:00 p.m. in Collegeville.