Jan. 4, 2010
FAYETTEVILLE - Jamel Carpenter's biggest contribution in Fayetteville State's 65-58 win over Saint Paul's wasn't in the scoring column.
With FSU (4-6, 1-4 CIAA) up four with less than one minute remaining in the second half, Carpenter's shot was blocked by SPC's Ibn-Saeed Rasoull.
Instead of sulking, Carpenter sprinted to the other end of the floor and knocked the ball away from the Tigers' Kwame Johnson giving FSU the ball and preserving its first CIAA win of the season.
"That's the end of result of our team," first-year head coach Alphonza Kee said of Carpenter's hustle. "We have unique obstacles and we have to have the mindset of overcoming and competiting."
Carpenter, the CIAA's leading scorer, had a game-high 17 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the field. Preseason All-CIAA selection Ariel Robinson added 14 points in only 16 minutes while junior Ben Davis amassed six points and 11 rebounds.
"It feels real good to get our first conference win," said sophomore guard Jarmel Baxter. "It was an ugly win, but it was a good win."
The Broncos' defense stifled SPC (1-7, 0-6 CIAA) limiting the Tigers to 28.4 percent shooting from the field.
FSU led 33-25 at halftime, but the Tigers cut into the Broncos' lead throughout the second half. After an 8-0 run, FSU's lead was down to one, 58-57, with 4:52 left.
But Carpenter and Robinson nailed eight of their 11 free-throw attempts to help seal Kee's teams' victory.
SPC was led by 16 points from George Leseur and 15 points and eight rebounds from Rasoull.
With three players suiting up for just the third time this season, Kee said FSU needs to continue to improve its continuity.
"We have like a brand new team now," Kee said. "We had a tenacious, executed-driven team. Now we have some bodies and our execution is out of the window. It's a good problem to have because the guys can play. That's our biggest issue but we'll get through it."
Kee and the Broncos will travel to Pennsylvania to face Lincoln (Pa.) on Saturday. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. FSU hasn't had a road game since an 89-79 loss at St. Andrews on Dec. 2.
"We have to continue to execute on the road," Kee said. "We have to continue to get better. It's a mile not a sprint. We have to get better regardless of who is in front of us. We have some internal goals that we must execute first. Once we're a team we can focus on the opposition."