Feb. 18, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - As if to validate their stunning upset of Johnson C. Smith a week ago wasn't a fluke, the Fayetteville State Lady Broncos gave first-place Shaw all it could handle before falling 80-70 on Saturday night at Felton J. Capel Arena.
The Lady Broncos (11-13, 4-10, 3-5), who came into the game having won four of their last six, including the shocking 59-58 win over the Lady Golden Bulls last week, wouldn't let the Lady Bears (18-6, 13-1, 7-1) out of their sights.
Fayetteville State, which trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half, trimmed the deficit down to just two the less than 2 minutes into the second half, and stayed within shouting distance until Shaw ripped off a 10-0 run for a 64-49 lead 8:57 to go.
Even then, the Lady Broncos came roaring back, getting five straight points from Je'Lena Robertson (So., Houston, Texas) to get within six, 72-66, with 1:48 left.
But Shaw finished the game 8 of 9 from the foul line, including getting six straight from Brittney Spencer, to close out the win. The Lady Bears shot 90 percent from the foul line, finishing the game 30-for-33.
Akysia Resper (So., Concord, N.C.) led Fayetteville State with 17 points, making four 3-pointers. SheQuitia Manning (Sr., Capital Heights, Md.) came off the bench to add 12 points while Robertson added 10. Tashama Banner (Sr., Fayetteville, N.C.) played a brilliant first half, but was hampered by foul trouble. She finished with nine points, team-highs of seven rebounds and five assists to go with three steals.
Shaw was led with 17 points from Aslea Williams, who added eight rebounds. Kyria Buford had a double-double with 13 points and 11 boards while Spencer finished with 14 points, Crystal Harris had 11 and Sequoyah Griffin had 10.
Shaw got off to a quick start, using suffocating halfcourt defense to frustrate the Lady Broncos' offense and build a 12-point lead just 7 minutes into the game.
But Fayetteville State, which shot 53 percent from the field in the opening half, came right back, first getting five straight points from Banner to creep back within seven before a later 12-4 run near the end of the half, sparked by Banner's all-around play and tough shots by Alicia Person (So. Henderson, N.C.) and Manning. That brought the Lady Broncos back within four, 36-32 with 1:34 to go in the period.
Fayetteville State, though, suffered a blow with just 16 seconds left in the half when Banner, who had seven points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals in the first half, was whistled for her third foul. Shaw led 43-37 at the break.
Fayetteville State hosts Livingstone in the home finale on Monday night at 5:30. The Lady Broncos will honor their seniors.