Feb. 23, 2013
RALEIGH, NC - The 18th-ranked Fayetteville State women's basketball team captured the CIAA Southern Division title on Saturday afternoon with a trilling 77-63 victory in its season finale against Saint Augustine's at Emery Gymnasium. The victory gives Head Coach Eva Patterson-Heath her first Southern Division championship in four seasons. Kristen Hanzer (Sr., Youngsville, NC), Shuanda Ashford (Sr., Fayetteville, NC) and Akysia Resper (Jr., Concord, NC) combined for 65 points in the road victory.
Hanzer, who was named CIAA Player of the Year on Thursday, recorded her second-best offensive performance of the season with a game-high 30 points. Ashford finished shy of a double-double with 22 points and nine rebounds. Resper picked up her first double-double of the season with 13 points and ten rebounds; while dishing out six assists. She also went a perfect 10-for-10 at the free-throw line.
The Lady Broncos (22-4 overall, 14-2 conference, 8-2 division) struggled offensively to start the game registering one point in the first 3:03. FSU responded with a 14-0 run to lead Saint Augustine's 17-9 at the 11:45 mark. Fayetteville State pushed its lead to nine (23-14) but saw the Lady Falcons storm back with a 15-3 run to trail by one. The Lady Broncos finished the half with five straight points from Ashford.
Ashford and Hanzer controlled the offensive tempo for FSU in the opening half combining for 27 of the team's 32 points. Ashford recorded 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting while Hanzer added 13 on 5-of-8 attempts. Fayetteville State shot 37.5 percent from the field (12-of-32) while Saint Augustine's was 10-of-39 (25.6%).
The Lady Falcons (11-14, 7-9, 4-6) came out to start the second half and quickly made it a one point (36-35) game. That would be as close as Saint Augustine's would get the remainder of the contest. The Lady Broncos increased their advantage to 53-42 with 10:21 remaining in the game. The Lady Falcons fought back to within four (67-63); but Resper sealed the victory with six consecutive free-throws.
Fayetteville State finished the game shooting 43.8 percent (28-of-64) from the field while Saint Augustine's shot 32% (24-of-75). The Lady Broncos dominated the post; outscoring SAU 46-32 while also leading in points off turnovers (24-20) and fast-break points (14-4).
Terri Jacobs led all Lady Falcon scorers with 17 points. Regime McCombs, the CIAA Rookie of the Year, added eleven points.
Fayetteville State will be the No. 1 Seed from the Southern Division and receive a first-round bye in next week's CIAA Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. The Lady Broncos are slated to face the winner of Tuesday's contest between the Lincoln (PA) and Johnson C. Smith. All game times will be determined on Sunday.