Nov. 22, 2011
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - Winless and overmatched, somehow the Paine Lady Lions continued to hang around.
Brittany Pevey hit a jumper, bringing Paine within five points at 55-50 with just over 8 minutes to go, threatening to put a damper on Fayetteville State's hot start to the women's basketball season.
But then Akysia Resper, who's proving to hold a reputation for hitting big shots already this season, buried a 3-pointer, and the Lady Broncos were finally off and running - for good this time.
Resper, the sophomore transfer from Presbyterian, scored a game-high 23 points to pace a balanced Lady Broncos' offense in a third straight convincing victory, as Fayetteville State pounded Paine 78-60 on Tuesday night at Felton J. Capel Arena.
SheQuitia Manning (Sr., Captal Heights, Mary.) added 16 points and a team-high nine rebounds while Je'Lena Robertson (So., Houston, Texas) returned to action after missing a game with an injury to add 10 points and a team-high three assists. Senior UNC Greensboro transfer Tashama Banner, named the CIAA Newcomer of the Week after a near-triple-double in the win Saturday over Coker, added nine points, five rebounds, two assists and a steal for the Lady Broncos.
With Fayetteville State shooting just 35 percent from the floor for much of the game, Paine (0-3) was able to hang around, fully making it a game with 8 minutes to go. But the Lady Broncos, who open the season 3-0 for the first time since they opened 5-0 to start the 2007-08 season, responded with 10 straight points and a 21-4 run to take a 76-54 lead with 1:58 to go.
The Lady Broncos' defense had a lot to do with the big run, eventually wearing Paine down. Fayetteville State held a 45-36 edge in rebounding, effectively holding Paine to one shot per possession for many of the Lady Lions' trips down the floor. That advantage, and shooting 32-of-39 from the foul line, enabled the Lady Broncos to overcome their shooting woes from the field and continuously hold the Lady Lions at bay.
That defensive effort was no more evident than in the lockdown of Paine guard Quandra Rodgers, who was allowed just four of her team-high 19 points after the half.
Pevey added 10 points for Paine.
The first half was a game of runs, with Paine getting two 3-pointers from Rodgers as she scored 10 of her team's first 13 points in a 13-9 start 5 minutes into the game.
But Fayetteville State came right back, scoring nine straight points in a 13-3 spurt to take a 22-16 lead with 12:28 to go in the first half. The Lady Broncos eventually led by as many as eight points for their largest lead of the opening period, pushing the run to a 17-5 advantage.
But Rodgers and the Lady Lions came right back. Rodgers hit another 3 and had a layup to spark a 12-4 run to tie the game at 30 with just under 2 minutes remaining in the half.