Nov. 22, 2011
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - The Fayetteville State Broncos shot the lights out in the first half.
It didn't matter.
Struggling to handle the ball and succumbing to early foul trouble, the Broncos could not overcome a huge first half by the Barton Bulldogs, falling 98-83 on Tuesday night at Felton J. Capel Arena.
Fayetteville State (1-2) had a staggering 18 turnovers at the half and committed 16 fouls in the frenetic pace. Even though the Broncos burned the nets to the tune of 61 percent shooting from the field, they had no answer for Aaron Suggs and the perennial power Bulldogs (5-1), who used a 9-0 run late in the half to take a commanding 56-40 lead. Barton led 58-45 at the break.
Suggs, who scored 12 points in an electric first half for the Bulldogs, finished with 20 to lead all players. Gerald Boston added 18 while Jaren Haley finished with 16 points, scoring 14 in the torrid first half. Jon Hart had a double-double with 17 points and a game-high 11 rebounds while Jarrett Jurnigan chipped in 10 points.
Jamel Carpenter (Sr., Salisbury, N.C.) led Fayetteville State with 13 points while Tyrrel Tate (So., Raleigh, N.C.) and Anthony Shelton (Fr., Cary, N.C.) added 12 points apiece. John Herrington added 10 points for Fayetteville State on 5-fof-5 shooting from the floor. Harrington has not missed a shot in his last two games, hitting on all 11 attempts.
Despite the loss, it was a good lesson for Fayetteville State.
"We're learning, and we're building," said Broncos coach Alphonza Kee. "This is what we signed up for. We played an NCAA Tournament team in UNC Pembroke, and a former national champion in Barton. This will make us better in the long run."
The Bulldogs are accustomed to success, having built a 103-26 record from 2006-09, when they won three conference championships, two regional championships and made two Elite Eight appearances. Last season, Barton finished 18-10 and third in the Carolinas Conference.
The Broncos hung around early in the game despite Barton's own hot shooting. The Bulldogs hit six 3-pointers in the first half, and used scoring spurts of 7-0 and 11-3 to build an 11-point lead by the 7:20 mark of the opening period.
Fayetteville State responded with six straight points to crawl within five, 37-32, but Haley connected on a deep 3 from the corner and converted a three-point play to push the lead back to 11. A 3 by Jurnigan with 51 seconds to go in the half handed Barton its biggest lead to that point, 56-40.
The Broncos did everything they could to get back into the game against the 2007 National Champion Bulldogs. Fayetteville State trimmed the deficit to six, 60-54, after a 7-0 spurt less than 4 minutes into the second half, but Boston came back with two three-point plays to stretch the lead back to 12, 68-56, with 14:50 remaining.
Still Fayetteville Sate came back, cutting the lead to seven points five times after the 11-minute mark. But the Broncos could never get any closer the rest of way as Barton did just enough to pick up the victory and hold the Broncos at bay.
Fayetteville State hits the road for the next two games, traveling to UNC Pembroke on Nov. 29 before playing St. Andrews on Dec. 3. The Broncos return home on Dec. 12 to face Virginia Union in a nonconference tilt.