Feb. 7, 2014
CHARLOTTE, NC -- The Fayetteville State men's basketball team returned to conference play in a big way on Wednesday, blasting the visiting Shaw Bears, 81-67, to improve to 4-1 in Southern Division play. Now, the Broncos start the second half of their Division schedule with a rematch against Johnson C. Smith, which FSU defeated 72-67 in Capel Arena earlier this year. Tipoff is schedule for 7:30 pm on Saturday in Brayboy Gymnasium.
By virtue of the win against Shaw on Wednesday, FSU has 16 victories on the season. That total is the highest achieved under head coach Alphonza Kee, who has the program headed in a great direction.
Tyrrel Tate (Raleigh, NC) is averaging 17.9 points per game, the fifth-highest total in the conference. He has scored in double figures in 11 of his last 12 games and has only failed to score at least 10 points on four occasions this season.
Joshua Dawson (Kinston, NC) continues to lead the league in assists at 5.1 per game. He has 113 dimes this season.
Torian Showers (Dublin, GA) is averaging just shy of double-figure scoring at 9.9 points per contest. He has scored in double-figures on seven occasions this season.
Louis Craft (Fayetteville, NC) is the league's second-best blocker this season, swatting away 1.7 shots per game on average.
Johnson C. Smith represents a different test than what the Broncos saw in Shaw. The Golden Bulls are under the direction of CIAA Hall of Fame inductee Stephen Joyner, Sr. Joyner is in his 27th season in the program and is the winningest coach in Johnson C. Smith history.
Emilio Parks is one of the best all-around players in the conference, averaging 17.6 points per game, shooting 59.2 percent from the field, blocking 34 shots this season and hauling in 8.3 rebounds per game. Those statistics all rank in the top 10 of the CIAA.
LaMarquis Letchaw will also be tough to stop. He is averaging 14.2 points per game and has scored 20 points or more on three occasions. He scored just five, though, in the match-up between these teams earlier this season.
This will be the 95th meeting between these teams and the second this season. The Golden Bulls lead the all-time series, 60-34.
FSU won a 72-67 contest earlier this season to snap a four-game losing skid in the series. In that one, Tate scored 20 points and Dawson had 20 to help ensure the victory.
In Wednesday's Shaw game, the visiting Bears scored the game's first four points. From there, FSU scored the next 10 in what would shortly become a rout in favor of the home team.
The Broncos shot a blistering 58.3 percent from the field and hit 47.1 percent of their 3-pointers. Craft (12 points, 10 rebounds) had a double-double, Tate scored 17 points and Marquette Hill (14 points) had another exceptional game off of the bench.
Anthony Shelton finished with 11 points off the bench, meanwhile Dawson, the starting point guard, had nine points and nine assists.
The win snapped an eight-game losing skid to Shaw.
After this one, FSU will travel to Livingstone on Wednesday at 7:30 pm, trying to avenge its only Southern Division loss to this point of the season.
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