Dec. 5, 2007
Richmond, VA - Fayetteville State traveled to Richmond, VA Tuesday evening and pulled off what some may consider an upset over Virginia Union University, 74-69, inside of a packed Barco-Stevens Hall.
Instead of the Broncos trying to match post play with VUU's Brad Byerson and Greg Thondique, they opened the game "red hot" from the three-point line. The first six shots made by Fayetteville State were 3-pointers. Senior guard Jamel Austin made three of the six Broncos' threes in the first half. By the time FSU cooled down in the first half from behind the arc, they were up 18-10 with 11:13 remaining before halftime.
Junior center Michael Thompson increased the Broncos lead to 10 after a turnaround hook shot that had Panthers fans feeling like it was going to be a long night. Austin later found Thompson in the lane, this time for a thunderous dunk that delayed the Panthers' comeback.
FSU went cold from the field and eventually allowed Virginia Union to take a six point lead after a three from sophomore Brandon Byerson. With a 1:10 left in the first period, VUU had claimed an eight point lead. Two made free throws by sophomore forward Larry Ross sent the Broncos into halftime down 37-31.
Senior guard Phillippe Harris came out and scored five of the Broncos first 10 points in the second half; including a 3-pointer at the 16:28 mark to put FSU back in front 41-40. The contest remained close throughout the second period, but the play of Harris and junior guard Andy Gebru gave Fayetteville State the advantage. Harris and Gebru, combined went 9-of-12 from the three-point line after halftime.
With 1:27 left to play, Austin made his second of two free throws to tie the score for the eighth time at 68-68. After a Virginia Union timeout, Austin drove inside for a layup with 28 seconds remaining to give FSU the lead for good. Harris and Austin would both make a pair of free throws in the final seconds to assure the Bronco victory.
Gebru finished with a game-high 25 points (including 7-of-12 made 3-pointers) and six assists. Harris turned in a 19-point, four-rebound, and three-assist performance; while Austin also concluded the contest with a double-digit point total of 14 and six assists.
After winning their second consecutive game of the season, Coach Sam Hanger was asked for his perspective in which he replied, "If we can continue to shoot well from outside and get more and more productivity from our post players, this should be a very interesting season."
After starting out 0-3, the win improves the Broncos to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the CIAA. The Broncos next competition will be at home inside the Capel Arena against Bluefield State University Friday, December 7th at 7:30pm.