The Times West Virginian

Local sports

February 12, 2013

‘Hard-fought game’

Hill, Stith lead FSU past Mountain Cats, 88-73

FAIRMONT — It took Fairmont State just over 20 minutes to take its first lead over visiting Pitt-Johnstown on Monday night at the Joe Retton Arena.

But once the Falcons got the lead, they never relinquished it en route to an 88-73 victory over the Mountain Cats.

The win improved the second-place Falcons to 17-5 overall and to 15-3 in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. It also sets up a big showdown Thursday night in Fairmont at the Joe Retton Arena when third-place Alderson-Broaddus (16-6, 14-4) comes to town for a 7:30 p.m. game.

Monday night, UPJ came out on fire. The Mountain Cats employed red-hot shooting to open a 27-14 lead over the Falcons in the game’s first 11 minutes.

But in the final nine minutes of the opening half, Fairmont, led by senior center Isaiah Hill and senior point guard Malik Stith, clawed its way back into contention and tied the score at 38 at the break.

“For some reason in the beginning of games our tendency is to start out lackadaisical on defense,” said Stith, who combined with Hill to score 17 of the Falcons’ final 24 points in the first half. “When there’s a dead spot in the game I try to be aggressive, and I got a couple of baskets there off of our defense. I found some open lanes there and was able to score the ball.

“When we were down 27-14 coach called a timeout. We realize teams are going to come out and give it their all against us with us being one of the top teams in the league. We’ve got to match their intensity, and early on tonight we didn’t do that. Give them credit, though, because they hit shots. Once we started contesting those shots better, playing with more intensity and really getting on the glass, things changed.”

Indeed they did.

In the second half, Fairmont amped up its defensive pressure and limited the Mountain Cats’ second-chance opportunities. FSU out-rebounded UPJ 45-34 and held the Mountain Cats to just 40 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes compared to the nearly 50 percent field goal shooting UPJ displayed in the first half.

By contrast, Fairmont, which shot just 38.5 percent in the first half, connected on 56.7 percent of its field goals in the second half.

Hill was the catalyst for much of Fairmont’s success. He posted his fourth double-double performance of the season, finishing with a team-high 21 points and 11 rebounds. Stith added 18 points and four assists, while Isaac Thornton recorded a double-double outing as well, finishing with 12 points and a game-high 12 boards.

“In the second half we came out with a lot more energy than we had in the first half,” Hill said. “We knew this was going to be a tough game for us. We’ve been down before and we find ways to battle back. We’re never going to give up.

“In the second half we executed a lot better on both ends of the floor. Defensively we did a better job of guarding them and contesting shots and we rebounded the ball a lot better. That’s what got us going offensively.”

A five-foot jumper by Hill early in the second half gave FSU its first lead of the game. That basket ignited a 16-6 run by the Falcons in the first 5:32 of the second half, which gave them a 10-point lead and control of the contest for good.

“Pitt-Johnstown is very good and very well coached,” said FSU coach Jerrod Calhoun. “They run as good of stuff on offense as anyone I’ve seen. It was a hard-fought game tonight. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Down the stretch everyone is playing hard and playing to win. Every night is going to be a battle.

“We made some defensive adjustments at halftime, which I think helped. We were extended a little too much and they were just throwing it over the top and hitting threes on us. In the second half we played unbelievable defense. To hold a team like that to 73 points is a tremendous job.”

Brendan Cooper added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Falcons, while Chase Morgan chipped in 10 points. FSU also got six points from Stevie Browning and five from Ty Garrison.

UPJ, which had won six of seven games coming into Monday’s contest, fell to 14-9 overall and to 10-9 in the WVIAC. The Mountain Cats were led by Andrew Cressler’s game-high 27 points and nine rebounds. Nick Novak added 13 points for UPJ.

As noted, Fairmont State will host A-B on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and then entertain league-leading and No. 3 ranked West Liberty on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Joe Retton Arena.

1
Text Only
Local sports
  • FSHS #32, 29-BU #15-TS.jpg Cousins Sansalone, Craig lead Polar Bears past B-U: PHOTOS

    They say you don’t mess with family. Buckhannon-Upshur found that one out the hard way.

    April 23, 2014 7 Photos

  • Gabbi Mascaro Signing -md.jpg Mascaro signs with FSU

    Gabi Mascaro is staying in Fairmont.
    After considering several out-of-state colleges, the Fairmont Senior soccer standout signed her National Letter of Intent Tuesday to continue her career at Fairmont State University, an upstart program which will play its first games in 2015.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • EF # 5 BP #23 MW.JPG Slow start spoils Bees’ upset bid: PHOTOS

    Fresh off a fairly successful trip to Myrtle Beach, the East Fairmont baseball team was looking to gain some respect in its own state by toppling No. 4 Bridgeport on the road. Instead, the Bees came home with an 8-3 loss after a slow start spoiled their upset bid.

    April 22, 2014 6 Photos

  • Calhoun, FSU land two signees

    Fairmont State coach Jerrod Calhoun is adding the finishing touches to this year’s signing class.

    April 22, 2014

  • Brooks’ one-hitter powers Huskies past Cougars

    North Marion’s Skyler Brooks threw a one-hitter, Travis Smith hit a 3-run home run and the Huskies downed Lincoln, 13-1, Monday night.

    April 22, 2014

  • NMHS #5 PITCH -TS.jpg Latocha dominant in circle for North

    It’s common knowledge that you don’t talk about a no-hitter while it’s in progress or you might jynx the pitcher.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fairmont Senior boys, North girls continue strong showing on track

    The Fairmont Senior boys’ and North Marion girls’ track teams continued their winning ways as they both finished in the top five at the Harry Green Invitational at Bridgeport High School Saturday.

    April 21, 2014

  • EFHS Softball - CB.jpg East can’t overcome No. 7 Lincoln, falls, 4-0

    Thunder clouds weren’t the only thing looming over the East Fairmont (6-6) softball team Monday when the Lady Bees hosed No. 7 Lincoln. Joining the ominous clouds was a sense of urgency for energy that never showed up as Lincoln was able to shut out East Fairmont, 4-0.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • FSHS #20-UHS  #1, 6-TS.jpg Kesling’s bat powers Polar Bears

    When Fairmont Senior’s Johnny Kesling stepped into the batter’s box this past week, it was game over.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • EFHS  #13, 5- RCB #12 -ts.jpg East Fairmont jumps on RCB early: PHOTOS

    Bases loaded. Nobody out.
    Both baseball teams found themselves in exactly the same place in their half of the first inning.

    April 9, 2014 6 Photos

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes
House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide