The Times West Virginian

Duane Cochrane

November 11, 2013

FSU improves to 2-0, topples Trojans: PHOTOS

FAIRMONT — Second-year Fairmont State University men’s basketball coach Jerrod Calhoun didn’t want to baby his young team heading into the 2013-14 season.

No, Calhoun had other plans.

Instead of opening the season with some so-called “softies” in the Joe Retton Classic to help his squad build confidence and possibly a false sense of self worth, Calhoun threw the Falcons into the pool against quality Atlantic Regional foes Bowie State and Virginia State and told them to sink or swim.

Fairmont responded by swimming.

After rallying in the second half for an 89-79 victory over Bowie State (Md.) University on Saturday in the classic’s first round, FSU came back Sunday, took control early and rolled past Virginia State, 85-77, to start the season 2-0.

“We got exactly what we wanted out of this,” said Calhoun. “I looked at everybody’s schedule in the league and I don’t think anyone has scheduled as hard as we have. We have an unbelievable opportunity next Saturday at Winston-Salem, a top 21-team in the country. That will be our third CIAA opponent and third in-region game in two weeks. Then we have Bellarmine (Ky., a top four team in the country) coming in here in December.

“I can’t be happier getting two wins this weekend, but we have a lot of things we need to work on and a lot of improving to do. We’ve got to be positive with these guys because they are a young group, but we’ve got to go to work each day and get better and better.”

Sunday afternoon Fairmont broke open a close game with Virginia State by mounting a 27-9 run that spanned the last 1:21 of the opening half and the first eight minutes of the second half to give themselves a seemingly comfortable 63-39 lead with 12 minutes remaining.

“We started pressing there so we could turn them over, speed them up and get them playing our style of ball,” said FSU senior forward Brendan Cooper, who posted his second straight double-double performance with 14 points, 10 rebounds and a game-high five assists. “That helped us get on that run.”

But Fairmont knew from Virginia State’s comeback win over West Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday in the classic that the Trojans wouldn’t go away quietly, and they didn’t. Over the course of the next 10 minutes, Virginia State clawed its way back into contention and closed the gap to 78-70 on a pair of free throws by James Vann with 2:03 left to play.

On the other end FSU ended nearly a three-minute scoring drought when Cooper found Chase Morgan on the baseline and the junior guard buried his third 3-pointer of the game to push the lead back to 11 and secure the victory for the Falcons.

“Virginia State is a very resilient team, and anyone who watched their game yesterday against West Virginia Wesleyan knows they were down pretty much the whole game and they ended up fighting their way back and winning,” said Morgan, who led FSU with 16 points off of the bench. “We knew they’d put up a fight until the end.

“On that play I saw them double-team Coop and I just went to the corner. He got me the ball and I knocked it down. That’s my job on this team to knock down shots. Give Coop credit. He hit me with a great pass and I just shot it in.”

Calhoun says Morgan has a propensity to hit big shots for the Falcons when they need them.

“Chase always makes big shots,” said Calhoun. “It seems like his baskets are very timely for us. He just has no conscience.”

Morgan and Cooper led five Falcons in double figures in the scoring column in the win. They were joined by Stevie Browning and Caleb Davis, who both finished with 13 points, and Thomas Wimbush, who added 11 off the bench. Eleven of Browning’s 13 points came in the final half.

Virginia State, which fell to 1-1, got 14 points from Lamar Kearse, 13 points and seven rebounds from Allen Harris, and 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds from Amiel Terry.

In the first game of the Classic on Sunday, West Virginia Wesleyan (1-1) used red-hot shooting from 3-point range to topple Bowie State, 81-75. The Bobcats nailed 16-of-30 shots from behind the arc (53.3 percent) and were led by T.J. Thompson, who finished with 24 points, and Brett Ervin and Chris Dewberry, who chipped in 17 points apiece. Those three combined for 13 of Wesleyan’s 16 made 3-point field goals.

Bowie State, which fell to 0-2, got 16 points from Andre Jackson, 13 from Ray Gatling and 10 from Cameron Knox.

Fairmont State’s men will be idle until Saturday, when they visit Winston-Salem (N.C.) State for a 7 p.m. game. The 2-0 and 21st ranked Rams opened the season this weekend with victories over Mountain East Conference opponents Notre Dame College (102-84) and Concord University (76-73).

1
Text Only
Duane Cochrane
  • GENE STERATORE -TS.jpg Steratore: Make every day a ‘game day’: PHOTOS

    Game day.
    Veteran National Football League and NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball official Gene Steratore’s message Saturday evening to those in attendance at the 52nd annual Fairmont State University Spring Scholarship Banquet was that simple.

    May 4, 2014 14 Photos

  • m #14- W #91, 44 sack-ts.jpg White tops Maroon in spring game: PHOTOS

    As spring games go Thursday night's annual Maroon and White clash at Fairmont State's Duvall-Rosier went pretty much to form.
    The White (defense), using a modified scoring system which awarded them points for stops, turnovers, three-and-out series and other things, recorded a 34-21 victory over the Maroon (offense).

    April 25, 2014 7 Photos

  • FSU team.MW.jpg Lady Falcons have high expectations for next season

    Despite having to replace a trio of talented starters, including All-America point guard Kaitlin Snyder, from a team that finished 23-10, won the final West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament championship and made an appearance in the NCAA Division II National Tournament, Fairmont State University’s 2013-14 Lady Falcons came close to heading back to the so-called “Big Dance” this year.

    March 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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.

    March 9, 2014

  • 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.

    March 8, 2014

  • 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.

    March 7, 2014

  • 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.

    March 5, 2014

  • FSU #20 HANG TIME -TS.jpg 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.

    March 2, 2014 8 Photos

  • FSHS #33-SU #35 -TS.jpg 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.

    March 2, 2014 7 Photos 1 Story

  • 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.

    February 26, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads