By Matt Welch
Times West Virginian
After taking down Urbana on the road, the Fairmont State (8-3, 3-2 MEC) men’s basketball team will look for their second win in three days as they travel to take on Notre Dame College (4-7, 2-3 MEC) today at 5 p.m.
A game that was originally scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff but was moved up due to weather, the Falcons will look to improve their conference schedule with another win on the road.
Notre Dame College is coming off of a win against a tough Shepherd team at home Saturday, and Fairmont State head coach Jerrod Calhoun said his team will be looking to limit Notre Dame’s shooters.
“Notre Dame is very guard-heavy,” Calhoun said. “Thinking back to my time at West Virginia, I’d compare them to Villanova. They have a lot of guys capable of getting 20 points on any given night.”
If Notre Dame is Villanova, then Lawrence DeArmond could be their Scottie Reynolds.
DeArmond, a junior swingman, is averaging 20.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, and holds the school’s single-season and all-time best shooting percentage marks, being a 58.6 percent shooter over his career. Lawrence has averaged double-digit points each season with Notre Dame and will be looking to pick up where arguably the program’s best player, Eric Dummeruth, left off.
Calhoun, though, says anyone on the team can hurt them and that they won’t back down from anyone.
“They’re battle-tested. They play a very good schedule, one of the better ones in D2,” the coach said. “They’ve won big games. They won’t shy away or be intimidated by us.”
The second-year head coach knows that to get a win, his team will need to step things up defensively, as Notre Dame is scoring 86.0 points per game to Fairmont State’s 84.8.
“We’re going to mix up our defenses a little bit. They’re very good in transition. That’s where most of their baskets come from,” Calhoun said. “We have to guard the 3-point line and make them earn every basket.”
Offensively, Calhoun said his team will likely try to do the same thing in that they’ll be looking to push the ball quickly and get easy buckets.
Guards Shammgod Wells and Stevie Browning are coming off solid games, as both players scored just under 20 points in the win over Urbana.
Wells, who is getting more minutes because of injuries, has now scored in double figures in each of the past four contests.
But possibly the biggest battle to overcome for Fairmont State will be playing another tough game on the road, said Calhoun.
While the Fighting Falcons are 6-1 at home, they’re just 2-2 on the road, with that second win coming this past Saturday.
“We’ve struggled on the road,” Calhoun said. “We had a good win at Urbana. Now we have to build off of that.”
If Calhoun’s team can pick up a win, they’ll be riding a two-game winning streak into a three-game homestand.
NOTES: The Lady Falcons’ (4-4, 2-3 MEC) game at Notre Dame College (7-2, 4-1 MEC) was also moved up from 5:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. today due to impending weather ... The Lady Falcons are coming off of a 69-62 loss at Urbana ... Hailey Garrett scored a team-high 20 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds in the loss.
Email Matt Welch at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.