WBB PREVIEW: Johnson C. Smith

Je'Lena Robertson

Jan. 17, 2014

Johnson C. Smith Opening Tip
Date | Time:
Saturday, Jan. 18 | 2:00 p.m.
Venue (Location/Capacity): Felton J. Capel Arena (Fayetteville, NC/5,000)
Online: Live Stats | Video
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FSU Team Information: Team Site | Schedule/Results | Statistics
Johnson C. Smith Team Information: Team Site | Schedule/Results | Statistics

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FAYETTEVILLE, NC - Fresh off its biggest come-from-behind victory of the season, the Fayetteville State University women's basketball team hopes to ride the momentum to a divisional win against Johnson C. Smith at 2 pm Saturday afternoon in Felton J. Capel Arena.

The Lady Broncos (11-4 overall, 4-2 CIAA) trailed by 17 at the half against Bowie State in the final game of a three-game road trip that took FSU up and down the mid-Atlantic. But passionate halftime talks from coach Eva Patterson-Heath and senior Je'Lena Robertson (Houston, TX) inspired the effort necessary to come all the way back to tie the game and eventually win it, 71-67, in overtime.

Robertson had 13 points in the contest, including the game-tying layup in the final minute of regulation. Amber Calvin (Fayetteville, NC) continued her hot streak, scoring 19 points despite hitting just 3-of-12 form the field (she was 13-of-14 from the foul line). It was the fourth straight 19-plus point performance for Calvin, who earned the CIAA's Newcomer of the Week honors.

Deja Middleton (Richmond, VA) recorded her seventh double-double of the season, scoring 15 points and grabbing 13 rebounds despite not starting for the first time this season. Akysia Resper (Concord, NC) had 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting and Bria Robinson (Charlotte, NC) contributed seven points and seven rebounds to the cause.

The Lady Broncos shot 50 percent from the floor and outscored the Lady Bulldogs 38-21 in the second half after hitting on just 25 percent of shots (7-of-28) and being outscored 39-22 in the game's first 20 minutes.

Middleton continues to lead the conference in rebounding, at 11.1 per contest. She scores 13.3 points per contest and is one of two Lady Broncos averaging double-figure scoring. Calvin has upped her scoring mark to 15.3 points per game, the second-highest in the CIAA. She is also the league's third-best free throw shooter, hitting on 84.5 percent of her attempts from the charity stripe.

Robertson is fifth in the CIAA in free throw efficiency, making 81.6 percent of her attempts.

Johnson C. Smith (10-5, 5-1) enters play with the best conference record. The Lady Golden Bulls lost their last game, however, a 67-47 defeat at Virginia State that snapped an eight-game winning streak.

JCSU is led offensively by Karnina Bunch, the league's fifth-highest scorer at 14.5 points per game. However, Bunch has been limited in her last two contests, posting just seven total points against Elizabeth City State and Virginia State.

Deanna Downer is the Lady Golden Bulls' second-highest scorer and second-best rebounder, averaging 11.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Downer was limited to four points against Virginia State but scored 19 on 6-of-10 scoring against Elizabeth City State on Jan. 11.

Fayetteville State and Johnson C. Smith have played one another 68 times, with the Lady Golden Bulls holding a slim 35-33 lead in the series. FSU stampeded Johnson C. Smith 81-48 the last time these teams met. The Lady Broncos also won a 71-62 decision earlier in the season.

The Lady Broncos have won the last three in the series, with the last loss coming Jan. 28, 2012 in Charlotte. The last time FSU lost to JCSU in Capel Arena was on Jan. 29, 2011.

The Lady Broncos are in their 62nd season as a program and have compiled an all-time record of 591-401 and 335-243 record in the CIAA. Since joining the CIAA in 1953-54, Fayetteville State has tallied ten 20-win seasons including a school-record 25 wins in 1996-97. FSU has made five NCAA Division II Playoff appearances with the last coming in 2009-10.

After JCSU, the Lady Broncos host Livingstone at 4 pm on Wednesday before heading on the road to play Winston-Salem State in Goldsboro, NC, on Jan. 25.



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