Jan. 13, 2014
BOWIE, MD - In a crucial game's most critical moments, a team known for its offense came up with essential defensive stops when it needed them most. By making those stops, the Fayetteville State men's basketball team held onto a 70-66 win over Bowie State on Monday night at A.C. Jordan Arena.
The Broncos improved to 11-5 overall and 4-2 in the conference. FSU got 19 points and seven rebounds from Tyrrel Tate, a season-high 17 points from Travis Marcus and 15 points and seven rebounds from Torian Showers.
"You want to win and learn," Broncos coach Alphonza Kee said. "At Lincoln (at the beginning of the trip) we didn't finish on the defensive end. We took that as a learning opportunity.
"It was very big, just to be consistent. The experiences we had the last couple games, coming out short, it grew us a little bit. We knew how important it was not to give up a run, not to let the lead go."
The entire game was played within an 11-point window, with FSU's biggest lead being a five-point advantage with 13:30 left in the opening half and Bowie State owning a six-point lead just 31 seconds after halftime.
The two teams traded baskets - like they did most of the game - early on in the second half. FSU got out to a four point lead with 5:29 to go, but the Bulldogs scored seven consecutive points to seize a 64-61 lead with 3:13 left. Joshua Dawson knocked down a foul shot and Tate added a pair to knot things back up at 64 apiece.
A pair of free throws from Bowie State's Andre Jackson gave his team a 66-64 edge, but Tate's 3-point play gave FSU the final lead of the ballgame.
From there it was all about making foul shots and playing defense. Dawson hauled in a rebound the next defensive trip down the court. After Tate was called for traveling, Dawson pulled in another rebound. Another turnover gave Bowie State the ball back with 31 seconds left.
The next possession provided the most critical stop, when Tate intercepted a pass in the post that looked destined to become a go-ahead layup.
"I backed up at the right time," Tate said. "I just took it out of the air."
Timothy Haggie was fouled after a timeout and made one of two free throws to make it 68-66 with 17 seconds to play. On the next trip down the court, Bowie State's Cameron Knox turned the ball over and Tate made two more free throws to seal the win.
There were nine ties and 12 lead changes. Bowie State took a 30-26 lead into halftime.
FSU had a 38-24 advantage in points in the paint, a 21-17 edge in points off turnovers and a 16-10 advantage in second-chance points. Neither team scored a fast-break point. Bowie State outscored the Broncos 21-14 off the bench.
FSU shot 40 percent (24-of-60) for the game and 53.6 percent (15-of-28) in the second half. The Broncos outrebounded Bowie State, 45-36.
It's a second consecutive victory for the Broncos, who finished out their longest road trip of the season 2-1.
After more than a week away from Felton J. Capel Arena, FSU will host Johnson C. Smith on Saturday at 4 pm.