Dec. 16, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, NC - If Fayetteville State is to hold serve at home against Virginia Union when the two teams meet in a non-conference tilt at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night, it will do wonders to the Bronco spirit in a multitude of reasons.
First, and most relevant to this season, it would send FSU to a three-game winning streak with only a December 21 date at Barber-Scotia separating the Broncos from Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association conference play. Secondly, it would go a long way to helping erase a series history that has been dominated by the Panthers recently.
The Last Meeting
January 12, 2013
FSU BRONCOS SUFFER 75-72 SETBACK TO VIRGINIA UNION
FAYETTEVILLE, NC -Fayetteville State (8-6 overall, 3-2 CIAA) dropped a 75-72 decision to Virginia Union (3-9, 1-4 CIAA) on Saturday evening at Felton J. Capel Arena. Tyrrel Tate (Jr., Raleigh, NC) poured in a game-high 27 points on 10-of-19 shooting. The Broncos led by three (40-37) at intermission but could not hold on as the Panthers rallied in the second half.
Virginia Union has taken the last eight meetings since Jan. 6, 2009, with the last FSU win coming in Fayetteville on Nov. 25, 2008. Now, though, with the Panthers sitting at 2-7 and the Broncos fresh off their most complete effort of the season in a 95-64 rout of Brevard, that streak could be ripe for halting.
"You're trying to do two things at one time," FSU coach Alphonza Kee said. "You definitely want to get over that hump. They're a great team and they've beaten a lot of other teams. Their tradition is unbelievable. As a player, I played against them and I've coached against them, but at the same time we have a bigger objective this year. We are preparing to be champions and we don't want to put too much into the past because it's a new day."
The Broncos (5-3) haven't had much trouble finding the basket this season. They are fourth in the conference with 86.4 points per game and second in field goal percentage at 49.6 percent. Nobody in the CIAA has made more than FSU's 59 3-pointers or shot the ball from beyond the arc as well as the Broncos have (43.7 percent).
Virginia Union, meanwhile, hasn't found a similar stroke offensively. The Panthers are eighth in the league with 73.6 points per game and eighth in field goal percentage at 45.8 percent. They're 11th in the 12-team league with 28 made 3-pointers and last in 3-point percentage at 27.5 percent.
The Panthers do have two players averaging double-figure scoring this year in Ray Anderson (17.3 points per game) and Omar Briggs (11.6). Briggs scored six points the last time these two teams faced, when VUU overcame a three-point halftime deficit to win 75-72.
FSU is getting double-figure scoring from Tyrrel Tate (19.0 ppg), Torian Showers (11.8 ppg) and Anthony Shelton (10.6 ppg), though Joshua Dawson (9.9 ppg), Timothy Haggie (9.3 ppg) and Travis Marcus (9.1 ppg) are right on the cusp. Dawson (Kinston, NC) is averaging 6.2 assists per game, the second-highest mark in the conference.
"The plan is to have a team that is multi-dimensional offensively," Kee said. "It's more difficult to prepare for, so we work with everybody on the roster top to bottom, put a lot of time in individual work at scoring the basketball."