Jan. 25, 2014
PIKEVILLE, NC - A venue change didn't stop the Fayetteville State women's basketball team from continuing its hot streak on Saturday. The Lady Broncos topped Winston-Salem State 62-59 in a game played at Pikeville, NC's Charles B. Aycock High School.
"This was a very big win for us," FSU coach Eva Patterson-Heath said. "Playing on the road in the CIAA is so tough. Anytime you can go away from your home and get a victory, it's a big win."
It was an especially big win because of how the Lady Broncos achieved it. WSSU opened up the game on a 14-9 run through nearly the first 12 minutes. FSU (14-4 overall, 7-2 CIAA, 3-0 Southern Division) responded with a run of its own, taking the lead at 15-14 and eventually going into the locker room at the half with a 29-27 lead.
The Lady Broncos made another run starting off the second period, stretching their lead to 46-35 with 12:41 to play. The Lady Rams made a run of their own, cutting it to two late, but FSU never surrendered en route to picking up a fourth consecutive victory.
"Basketball is a game of runs. When we made our run to tie the game, we knew that eventually they were going to make a run, as well. We just stayed focused, stayed with the plan and executed down the stretch."
Deja Middleton (Richmond, VA) recorded her eighth double-double, scoring 12 points while hauling in 14 rebounds. Amber Calvin (Fayetteville, NC) paced the Lady Broncos in scoring with 15 points despite going against a Box-and-1 defense geared around stopping her.
"One person was on me everywhere I went, face-guarding," Calvin said. "As soon as I crossed half court, if I had the ball, they double-teamed me. I just tried to pass it out of the double team; which gave my team a chance to get an easy score."
The Lady Broncos lead was five in the final minute. However, a 3-pointer from WSSU's Jasmine Elum cut the gap to two with seven seconds left. After FSU made one of two free throws, the Lady Rams had a chance to tie, but a last-ditch heave from McKenzie Weston missed its mark.
FSU held the advantage in points in the paint (34-26), points off turnovers (21-15), second-chance points (19-12), fast-break points (10-8) and bench points (15-4).
The Lady Broncos forced 20 turnovers and were able to overcome making 23 miscues; thanks in part to a 44-30 advantage on the glass. FSU shot 22-of-58 (37.9 percent) from the floor.
On Wednesday, the Lady Broncos return to Felton J. Capel Arena for a critical battle against Shaw. Each team is 3-0 in divisional play and the winner figures to have an advantage as teams make their way toward the second half of divisional play. That game is set for 5:30 pm.