Jan. 2, 2014
FAYETTEVILLE, NC - A 15-point second-half lead almost wasn't enough Thursday night, but by the thinnest of margins, it was just enough for Fayetteville State to hold off Chowan, 65-62, at Capel Arena in the first game of the new year and of Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association conference play.
The Broncos needed a pair of Phoenix Butler-Poole free throws to clang off the iron with 5.5 seconds to play, a pair of Torian Showers foul shots to fall through and a last-second Chowan 3-pointer to miss to prevail. But they got all those things, improving to 8-3 on the season in the process.
"(Chowan's) a good basketball team, so they play for it and I didn't expect anything else of (Chowan) other than to compete," FSU coach Alphonza Kee said. "We're very excited to come out with a win today."
Tyrrel Tate was the only Bronco in double-figures. He had 10 points and hauled in nine rebounds. Juwan Addison (nine points) and Torian Showers (eight points) were also vital cogs offensively.
But the game was won on the defensive end. FSU held Chowan to 34.5-percent shooting (20-of-58) and kept one of the league's hottest scorers in check. Butler-Poole entered play eighth in the CIAA with 17.5 points per game. The gunner was held to just two points on 1-of-14 shooting (and the two late misses from the foul line) thanks to a tenacious Broncos defense.
The Broncos led 30-21 at the half and extended that lead to 45-30 with 11:40 to go. The 9-0 run that followed got the Hawks (4-5, 0-1) immediately back into the game.
An Addison layup at the 3-minute mark, though, gave the Broncos a 61-54 edge and it appeared like FSU may cruise to a relatively easy victory. But two Kortez Smith free throws and a Tiron Brown 3-point play dashed those hopes.
Instead, FSU had to make plays down the stretch. First, Addison found Tate for an alley-oop that made it 63-59 with 1:17 to go.
Ashante Ross made a foul shot and Kyree Bethel hit a jumper to cut it to 63-62 with 39 seconds left.
Then came Butler-Poole's missed foul shots, Showers successful ones and a Hawks 3-pointer that missed the mark.
The Broncos are back in action on Saturday at 4 p.m. against Virginia State.