The Times West Virginian

Fairmont State Sports

March 8, 2014

Cooper leads FSU past Bobcats, 70-62

Falcons to face 'Toppers in tournament semifinals

CHARLESTON — 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.

The victory improved the fourth-seeded Falcons to 20-9 on the year and puts them in Saturday's semifinals against top-seeded and No. 3 ranked West Liberty (24-2) at 8:15 p.m. The other men's semifinal at 6 p.m. will feature second-seeded Charleston (20-8) against third-seeded Glenville State (19-9).

Cooper, a 6-foot-7 senior forward who was a second-team All-MEC pick, played like a man possessed Friday night and dominated the game with a near-triple-double performance. He scored a game-high 21 points, grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds and also dished out a game-high seven assists.

“I'll tell you this: I'm glad he's leaving this league after this year,” said Wesleyan coach Patrick Beilein. “When you look at his stats in games against us the past two years, they're unreal.”

Cooper's aggressive play helped FSU wipe out a three-point halftime deficit and open a 61-52 lead with five minutes remaining.

“Coach always gets on us about being aggressive and getting the ball to the rim,” said Cooper. “We're athletic and tall and he wants us to take advantage of that by attacking the basket, getting good shots and rebounding the ball. That's all we were trying to do.”

Despite the nine-point deficit, the pesky Bobcats didn't go away easy. Wesleyan canned a pair of 3-point field goals around a layup and quickly cut the Falcons' lead to just one at 61-60 with 2:45 left to play.

In the final 2:45, though, FSU proved to be dominate outscoring the Bobcats 9-2 en route to the win. The catalyst for Fairmont during that crucial final run was Morgan, who gathered in a huge offensive rebound in the corner off of a missed Cooper 3-pointer with 1:41 remaining to give his team another possession with a 63-60 lead. Morgan then came off of a double screen on the wing and buried a crucial 3-pointer to give FSU a 66-60 lead with 1:18 remaining.

“We drew that play up coming out of a timeout and when the pass was swung to me I knew I had to shoot with confidence,” said Morgan. “I had missed some shots in the first half, but that one felt good and thankfully it went in.”

Morgan, who finished with 10 points, then sealed the win for Fairmont by going a perfect 4-of-4 at the foul line in the game's last 53 seconds.

“We know this is Coop's last go-round with us and tonight we came together as a family and as a unit when the game was on the line and got it done,” said Morgan.

Thomas Wimbush added 14 points and five rebounds for Fairmont State, while Stevie Browning chipped in 11 points and six boards. The Falcons also got eight points from Trevor Andrews-Evans – all of which came in the second half before he fouled out with 2:11 to play.

Wesleyan, which finished the season 20-12, was led by Brett Ervin's 16 points, 12 of which came off of 3-point field goals. The Bobcats also got 14 points from Tanner McGrew and 12 from T.J. Thompson.

Saturday's semifinal round matchup between FSU and West Liberty will be the third meeting of the season between the two teams. The Hilltoppers won 77-60 on Jan. 18 in West Liberty, while the Falcons claimed a 93-81 win on Feb. 15 in Fairmont.

“We know West Liberty is going to be the heavy favorite, but we're not going to back down,” said FSU coach Jerrod Calhoun. “I think it's going to be a heckuva game.”

1
Text Only
Fairmont State Sports
  • FSU football season tickets available

    Season ticket packages and VIP parking for the 2014 Fairmont State University football season are now available for purchase.

    July 23, 2014

  • FSU's Barfield, Jean-Charles named preseason All-Americans

    Chris Barfield and Jacob Jean-Charles earn preseason honors by being named to the USA College Football Division II Preseason All-American team.

    July 21, 2014

  • SIDELINE SPOTLIGHT: Internship provides insight to being student-athlete

    As a student-athlete, one must balance academics and athletics. It’s no different once you get to college, as Fairmont State women’s soccer player Gabi Mascaro has found out. This week, Mascaro is knee-deep in her first college internship

    July 14, 2014

  • Mascaro eager to get started for FSU women’s soccer: VIDEO

    Gabi Mascaro and the Fairmont State women’s soccer team is preparing for the team’s inaugural season. Mascaro, a local product, is likely to be at the forefront of the team’s charge into the future. This week, Mascaro discussed life after high school in preparation for college. 

    July 7, 2014

  • Calhoun ecstatic about new season, signs JUCO guard

    Fairmont State’s men’s basketball team has added another important piece to the roster for the upcoming season in junior college guard Wil Martinez, coach Jerrod Calhoun announced Thursday.
    The signing comes at the same time that the Falcons have finished their schedule for the 2014-15 season, a schedule that coach Calhoun is ecstatic about.

    July 4, 2014

  • Calhoun inks JUCO guard

    Fairmont State’s men’s basketball team has added another important piece to its roster, coach Jerrod Calhoun announced Thursday.

    July 3, 2014

  • University of Charleston claims inaugural MEC Commissioner’s Cup

    The University of Charleston has claimed the inaugural Mountain East Conference Commissioner’s Cup recognizing overall athletic excellence among its membership on an annual basis.
    The standings are compiled utilizing an “all-sports rating.”

    July 3, 2014

  • Browning chooses Division I program

    The leading scorer from Fairmont State’s men’s basketball team has chosen to transfer to a Division I school.

    June 30, 2014

  • North’s Banker plans to walk on at FSU

    North Marion’s Chase Banker didn’t have to venture very far to get the ball rolling on his athletic future.
    The Huskies’ dual-sport athlete has decided where he’ll play next season and plans to walk on to the basketball team at Fairmont State.

    June 28, 2014

  • North's Banker staying close to home

    North Marion's Chase Banker didn't have to venture very far to get the ball rolling on his athletic future.

    June 27, 2014

Featured Ads
FSU Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
House Ads