Jan. 25, 2014
PIKEVILLE, NC - From the 15-minute mark of the opening half until the game's conclusion, the Fayetteville State men's basketball team dominated its rival Winston-Salem State at Pikeville, NC's Charles B. Aycock High School in a 74-56 win on Saturday.
But perhaps the best way to show how well FSU handled its opposition is with the following statistic: The Rams converted 17 field goals and surrendered 18 turnovers.
"I think we're there," Broncos coach Alphonza Kee said. "I thought for a long period on both ends. It was a super-elevated atmosphere and I think we played well in it."
Tyrrel Tate (Raleigh, NC) scored 16 points to pace FSU, which improves to 13-6 overall, 6-3 in the CIAA and 2-1 in the Southern Division. With Livingstone's loss to Johnson C. Smith, the Broncos are now part of a four-way tie atop the CIAA's Southern division with Livingstone, JCSU and WSSU.
Each of those point totals is impressive; but nothing was as remarkable as the Broncos defense. FSU outshot the Rams by more than 20 percent and limited Winston-Salem State to just 17-of-54 (31.5 percent) from the field.
"This team is committed," Kee said. "We had to focus on defense, which isn't fun; but now it's becoming enjoyable for those guys. They understand if they can guard people they can be very good."
FSU recorded eight steals - six alone from Kinston, NC, native Joshua Dawson - and blocked three shots. The Broncos out-rebounded the Rams, 40-34. FSU also held the edge in assists (18-5), second-chance points (20-13), points in the paint (40-26), fast-break points (13-2) and bench points (36-12).
When WSSU surrendered the lead on an Anthony Shelton's 3-pointer with 14:26 to play in the first half, they never got it back. That `3' was the start of a 10-0 run that created the initial comfort. By halftime, the edge was 38-26 and though not over at that point, FSU held clear control.
The Broncos opened the second half on a 4-1 run to stretch the lead out to 14. The Rams whittled it down to 10 at one point, with 13:45 to play in the contest, but never got any closer.
A pair of Torian Showers (Dublin, GA) free throws made it 64-41 at the 6:41 mark and served as the game's biggest lead until a Hill dunk and two Dawson free throws made it 70-45 with 2:42 to play.
After suffering through a 15-of-31 day from the line in the Livingstone loss, the Broncos shot much better from the line against the Rams, hitting 10-of-16 attempts. FSU hit six of its 13 3-point attempts, while WSSU went just 3-of-20 from beyond the arc.
The Broncos next test is a home matchup against Shaw on Wednesday night at 7:30 pm back in Capel Arena. Shaw will enter that contest 0-3 in Southern Division play.
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