RALEIGH, NC - Another game, another victory for the Fayetteville State women's basketball team. This one, an 81-74 win at St. Augustine's on Saturday, followed a similar script as several other wins during what is now a five-game win streak.
Once again, Amber Calvin (Fayetteville, NC) led the way for the Lady Broncos, scoring a season-high 30 points and recording five rebounds and four assists while playing all 40 minutes. And once again, FSU (15-4 overall, 8-2 CIAA, 4-0 Southern Division) was able to battle back from a slow start and earn a victory.
"We knew that they were going to apply a lot of pressure," FSU coach Eva Patterson-Heath said. "We just made some adjustments in the second half. We got rattled in the first half with their pressure, but we made some slight adjustments the second half and were able to enter the ball inside and just attack and score some baskets."
The Lady Falcons' trap defense forced 15 Lady Broncos turnovers in the first half, when St. Augustine's was able to build a 20-10 lead. In the second stanza, FSU turned it over just seven times and shot 56 percent from the field to earn the win.
But throughout the game, it was Calvin who FSU leaned to when it needed a bucket. The senior scored 18 of her 30 points in the second half and was 9-of-14 from the field for the game. Foul trouble from other guards forced her to play every second of the game, but she wasn't too fatigued down the stretch; she hit several key shots late.
"It's just really my teammates," Calvin said. "My teammates help me out a lot. I just help out with the shots."
After St. Aug. sprinted out to its 20-10 lead, FSU responded with an 11-2 run that cut the Lady Falcons' lead to one. SAU scored the next three points to up its lead to four, but FSU scored five in a row afterward to take its first lead of the game.
The two teams went into the locker room tied 37-37 at halftime after SAU's Regime McCombs beat the buzzer with a layup.
The Lady Falcons scored the first four points of the second half and kept the lead until a Calvin 3-pointer tied things at 45 apiece with 14:05 to play. Middleton followed with a jump shot before SAU's Ebony Spencer tied things back up with a layup.
The two teams traded baskets for a few minutes until a 6-0 run on a Calvin free throw, a Calvin 3-pointer and a Calvin jumper gave FSU a 56-52 edge. After SAU responded and tied the score, Smith, Calvin and Shaquanza Manning each hit layups to give FSU a six-point lead. The Lady Broncos never trailed from that point forward.
FSU got to the foul line 48 times, but uncharacteristically struggled from the stripe. The Lady Broncos were just 28-of-48 from the line and got outrebounded 51-35, but did enough other things to earn the victory.
The Lady Broncos had a big edge in field goal percentage, shooting 55.6 percent from the field and limiting SAU to a 31.1-percent clip. Each team forced 22 turnovers and FSU had a 22-20 lead in points off those mistakes.
FSU is back at home on Wednesday at 5:30 pm against Shaw, the Southern Division's other 4-0 team.