February 17, 2024 

Francis Marion’s Lauryn Taylor shatters NCAA rebounding record

Patriots senior Lauryn Taylor joins FMU alum Pearl Moore in record books

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark wasn’t the only player breaking an NCAA women’s basketball record on Thursday evening. Just over 1,000 miles east — at the Smith University Center in Florence, S.C. — another record was shattered by 5’11 Francis Marion senior Lauryn Taylor. In addition to clinching a career-high 34 points, Taylor also pulled down a commanding 44 rebounds, an NCAA record across all divisions.

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“That’s unbelievable. I love it. Congratulations. That is so exciting,” said Francis Marion head coach Jeri Porter. “I mean, and honestly, you would almost expect it to be. I’m telling you — I’ve been doing this on every level for a while, I’ve never seen that before. That’s absolutely amazing. So congratulations to LT.”

Taylor has been dominant on the glass all season for the Patriots, averaging 15.0 rebounds per game. On six separate occasions this season, she has pulled down 19 or more rebounds in a game. Last season’s Conference Carolinas Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Taylor is the consummate competitor.

“I just love to compete with myself,” Taylor said. “I realized that rebounding is something I’m good at. I can’t worry about who’s in front of me or who’s around me, just go get the ball. I just have a natural knack for the ball. I prefer to rebound over scoring anyway, so I just do what I like to do — having fun.”

Francis Marion is an elite basketball program, currently competing in the NCAA’s Division II. By claiming the NCAA single-game rebounding record, Taylor joins Francis Marion alum Pearl Moore in the record books. Moore scored a record 4,061 collegiate points, accumulated over a partial season at Anderson Junior College and four All-American seasons at Francis Marion, competing in the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) small colleges division. Moore scored double digits in each game of her college career and, upon her graduation in 1979, was drafted by the New York Stars of the Women’s Professional Basketball League (WBL).

On the foundation set by elite hoopers like Moore, the Patriots have captured two national championships — the 1982 AIAW Division II title and the 1986 NAIA title — and also advanced to the 1998 NCAA Division II Final Four. This season, the Patriots are 17-6 overall and sit at first place in the East Division of the Conference Carolinas standings.

“We talked about rebounding being a direct correlation to winning and so where we are right now, for all of the other things that you see us do well — we got kids that can score, we defend pretty well in spots, we have our moments — but the one thing we [have] consistently done well all year is rebound the basketball,” said Coach Porter. “Obviously that starts with LT … We’re going to keep ourselves in games as long as we keep controlling the glass. So we’ll continue to try to do that moving forward.”

Written by Tee Baker

Tee has been a contributor to The Next since March Madness 2021 and is currently a contributing editor, BIG EAST beat reporter and curator of historical deep dives.

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