Never let it be said that Hailey Garrett isn't a team player.
With her Fairmont State squad holding a 14-point lead over the University of Charleston Saturday afternoon at the Joe Retton Arena, 8:55 remaining and FSU standout point guard Makenzie White headed to the bench with her fifth foul on a controversial charging call near mid-court, Garrett was asked by veteran coach Steve McDonald to fill a role she's not normally accustomed to but handled without a hitch.
Garrett, FSU's junior center, was asked to play the point – at least for purposes of getting the ball up the court against the Lady Golden Eagles' press. Mission accomplished. Once she got the ball past half court Garrett returned to the post and proceeded to dominate reeling off nine straight points during a late 3:06 span to help the Lady Falcons cruise to their fourth straight win, 80-62.
“In the back of our minds, at first, I think we were all a little hesitant when Makenzie picked up her fifth foul,” said Garrett, who sat most of the opening half with foul trouble and finished with 15 points. “It was like 'Oh, man,' but you know I think everybody just pulled together and really played well during those final minutes. We really wanted the win. We played together and got it done.”
The victory, which improved the Lady Falcons to 9-5 overall and to 7-4 in the Mountain East Conference, allowed Fairmont State to pass UC in the 12-team league standings and move into fourth place. The Lady Golden Eagles, who saw their three-game winning streak halted, fell to 11-5 overall and to 7-5 in the conference. UC is now fifth in the league.
“I'm very proud of our kids today,” said McDonald. “I thought Hailey did a wonderful job of bringing the ball up for us there in the last eight or nine minutes. I was pretty confident she could do it so that's why we went to that. She really played fantastic for us down the stretch.
“I also thought Emily Lohr played well in the second half and when both Hailey and Emily were out of the game in the first half with foul trouble I felt like Amanda Ruffner came in and gave us several good minutes. It's a team game and this was a team win for us.
“They're (UC) good. Some people may look at the score today and say 'wow,' but they were 6-1 on the road before today, 11-4 overall, on a three-game winning streak themselves and ahead of us in the league standings.”
With Garrett and Lohr on the bench watching for most of the first half, White and FSU true freshman guard/forward Deidra Combs shouldered the load offensively for the Lady Falcons. That duo combined for 25 first-half points as Fairmont opened a 41-34 lead at the break. White scored 12 of her game-high 19 points in the opening half, while Combs tied her career-high in the win with 15 points, 13 of which came in the first 20 minutes. She also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
“Hailey and Emily are obviously key players for us and whenever they got in foul trouble early everyone on the team knew we had to step up,” said Combs. “I was just trying to take advantage of the shots that were there for me and feed off of the offense and defense of my teammates.
“Honestly, I'm just a lot more comfortable out there on the floor now with the starters than I was early in the season.”
“Deidra played very well for us, especially in the first half,” said Garrett. “She was in her element and ready to play. She really helped hold us in there in the first half and in the second half she rebounded and played good defense. For a freshman she's getting better and better with every game.”
Hallie Gunnoe chipped in 12 points for FSU, 10 of which came in the second half and Lohr finished with seven.
Chyress Lockhart, who torched Fairmont for 32 points earlier this season in a 78-75 overtime victory by the Lady Falcons, was held to just 15 points Saturday which still led the Lady Golden Eagles. UC, which shot just 30 percent from the field in the second half (9-of-30), also got 10 points from Kiara Johnson.
FSU will be idle until Thursday when it visits West Virginia State for a 5:30 p.m. MEC contest in Institute.
Never let it be said that Hailey Garrett isn't a team player.
- Duane Cochrane
FSU’s rally falls short against ’Toppers
Twenty minutes into Saturday night’s Mountain East Conference semifinal-round showdown between top-seeded and No. 3 ranked West Liberty and fourth-seeded Fairmont State here at the Charleston Civic Center the Falcons looked down and out.
Cooper leads FSU past Bobcats, 70-62
Brendan Cooper played liked a first-team all-league selection even though he strangely wasn't, and Chase Morgan did what he does best in the game's final 1:18 – hit shots.
The result was a 70-62 Fairmont State victory over fifth-seeded West Virginia Wesleyan Friday evening in the quarterfinals of the Mountain East Conference Men's Basketball Tournament at the Charleston Civic Center.
Cold-shooting Lady Falcons fall to State
In its biggest game of the season to date Fairmont State suffered its worst performance.
Fifth-seeded FSU shot a season-low 29.5 percent from the field (18-of-61), including a dismal 8-of-33 showing (24.2 percent) in the second half and as a result fell, 71-59, to fourth-seeded West Virginia State in the quarterfinals of the first Mountain East Conference Women's Basketball Tournament here Thursday night at the Charleston Civic Center.
FSU women roll in MEC Tourney opener
Fifth-seeded Fairmont State didn't waste any time Tuesday night punching its ticket for Charleston and earning a berth in the Mountain East Conference Women's Basketball Tournament quarterfinals Thursday at the Charleston Civic Center.
Falcons edge Shepherd, earn first-round bye: PHOTOS
The scenario Saturday afternoon on Senior Day for Fairmont State's men's basketball team in its regular-season finale against visiting Shepherd University was pretty simple.
Win and receive an automatic first-round bye in the upcoming Mountain East Conference Basketball Tournament. Lose and host a first-round game Tuesday night at the Joe Retton Arena.
Innocent, Garrett star as Lady Falcons roll: PHOTOS
Saturday afternoon on Senior Day at the Joe Retton Arena Fairmont State senior Brianna Innocent was anything but that against visiting Shepherd University.
The 6-foot-1 backup center came off the bench and torched the Lady Rams in the regular-season finale for 27 points and a career-high 16 rebounds to help lead FSU to a 103-80 victory.
Cooper, Browning, Morgan lead FSU to OT win
Brendan Cooper made sure his homecoming to the Cleveland area was a memorable one here Tuesday night at the Murphy Gymnasium.
Lady Falcons blow late lead, fall to NDC
Fairmont State’s chance to earn an at-large berth in the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament suffered a serious blow here Tuesday evening at the Murphy Gymnasium.
Falcons knock off No. 3 West Liberty, 93-81: PHOTOS
There was pandemonium Saturday afternoon at mid court at the Joe Retton Arena.
And with good reason.
Fairmont State’s men’s basketball team snapped a 14-game losing streak to No. 3 West Liberty here yesterday by knocking off the regular-season Mountain East Conference champions, 93-81.
Lady Falcons falter in second half, fall 69-57: PHOTOS
Fairmont State’s Lady Falcons exited the halftime locker room Saturday afternoon looking like a team that didn’t want to play the final 20 minutes.
Sadly, that’s exactly how they performed for the most part in the second half and as a result second-place West Liberty broke a 47-47 tie with a 10-0 run midway through the final half and cruised to a 69-57 victory.
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- FSU’s rally falls short against ’Toppers