The Times West Virginian

Fairmont State Sports

February 28, 2014

Lady Falcons top Washington Adventist

TAKOMA PARK, Md. — Fairmont State’s Lady Falcons overcame some sloppy play, a bit of foul trouble and a late comeback bid by Washington Adventist University here Thursday evening at The Pitt to record a hard-fought 68-59 nonconference victory.

The win improved FSU to 16-9 on the year. The Lady Falcons will now close out the regular season with a home Mountain East Conference game Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Joe Retton Arena against Shepherd University.

Trailing 51-40 with 13 minutes left last night, Washington Adventist used a 15-4 run aided by eight Fairmont State turnovers to climb back into contention and tie the game at 55 with 5:03 remaining.

FSU, however, re-grouped, took the lead back on a three-point play by Makenzie White at the 4:40 mark and never trailed again. Fairmont closed out the final five minutes on a 13-4 spurt of its own to get the win.

“This was a tough game tonight,” said Fairmont junior center Hailey Garrett, who battled foul trouble but still led the Lady Falcons with 18 points, 10 of which came in the second half. “We’ve had a tough couple of weeks on the road, but tonight after they tied it we found a way to pull out a win. We came together as a team at the end and played well.

“A key was we were able to settle down, get consecutive positive possessions on offense and some stops on the defensive end.”

Fairmont shot the ball well (28-of-53, 52.8 percent) and held a 38-28 advantage in rebounds, but the Lady Falcons turned the ball over 24 times against the Lady Shock, who weren’t pressing them.

“There was a lot of subbing and a lot of changes tonight and I think at first that was a little hard for us to adjust to,” said FSU senior center/forward Brianna Innocent, who finished with 13 points and seven rebounds. “Once we realized that no matter what combination of players we had out there, that we were the better team we started to be patient with the ball, take care of it and rebound. Once we did that, we played better.”

Fairmont also got nine points and four rebounds from Emily Lohr, eight points and seven rebounds from Hallie Gunnoe, seven points and four assists from White, six points from Gabrielle Etter and five points and six rebounds from Deidra Combs.

“In the first half Hailey (Garrett) had three fouls and three other players had two fouls apiece and they were all of our post players so we had some skewed lineups on the floor out there at different times,” said FSU coach Steve McDonald, who got his 275th victory last night at the school. “I’ll tell you this, though, the days in coaching when you worry about how many points you win by have gone by the wayside for me. I learned a long time ago when you win, you’re happy.

“Tonight we figured out how to win and I thought we did a good job of playing really well the last four or five minutes so the game wasn’t close at the end. It was a long day for us traveling over here and now having to go back. It’s a tough environment here, but at the same we won the basketball game when we really didn’t play that well so I’m 100 percent happy.”

Washington Adventist, which fell to 9-18 with the loss, got 16 points from Re’gene Watson, 14 from Ebonie Ellison, 13 from Rashawnda Carter and 11 points and eight rebounds from Courtney Cayard.

The contest was a make-up game for one that was originally scheduled for mid-December but had to be postponed because FSU couldn’t make it past Cumberland, Md. due to inclement weather.

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