The Times West Virginian

Sports

January 23, 2014

Falcons take to road to play Shepherd

FAIRMONT — After losing back-to-back games for the first time this season, Fairmont State University men’s basketball team will travel to play Shepherd University today at 7:30 p.m., following the women’s game, which tips off at 5:30 p.m.

Fairmont State (10-5, 5-4 MEC) will look to bounce back after a loss to the number-one team in the country, while Shepherd (13-3, 8-2 MEC) is coming off of a win against Wheeling Jesuit.

The loss, a 77-60 defeat by West Liberty, will only strengthen the Falcons, said second-year coach Jerrod Calhoun.

“The good thing going forward is that our young guys have gotten a lot of experience,” Calhoun said. “They’ve now played the number-one and number-two teams in the country. That can only help us.” 

Even though the Falcons dropped both decisions to the top teams in the country, the experience that a young team like Fairmont State can endure has surely made players better.

Among those players lie Thomas Wimbush and Trevor Andrews-Evans, two freshman who have stepped up to take on bigger roles as the season progresses.

“Thomas’ upside is tremendous. He’s one of the most talented players in league, if not country,” Calhoun said of the redshirt freshman forward. “He’s a versatile athlete. We’ve just got to work with Thomas on limiting turnovers.”

Wimbush, a 6-foot-7 forward, has seemed to come into his own lately, averaging 14.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Both of those are good enough for second on the team.

For Andrews-Evans, chances have been coming more frequently as the team has gotten into their Mountain East Conference schedule, playing teams that run the floor.

The 6-foot-7 forward is coming off a double-double against West Liberty, something that excited Calhoun.

“Trevor’s confidence coming off of West Lib should be high. He’s very capable of it,” Calhoun said. “When you get 14 and 10 on the road against number one as a freshman, you have some big time abilities. He’s going to get better and better.”

After playing a team like West Liberty, Shepherd’s team presents much of the same style of play.

The Rams are averaging 87.6 points per game and can score from all over the court.

“What makes Shepherd so good is their ability to score the ball,” Calhoun said. “It’s a very challenging game on the road. They make you play fast. They’re like West Liberty. They fly around and are fast.”

Indeed it is, as the Rams boast a 5-2 record at home so far this season compared to the Falcons’ 2-3 road mark.

Leading the Rams is senior Brantley Osborne, who is averaging 20.2 points per game and has scored at least 30 points twice this season.

“You have to try to limit Osborne’s touches,” Calhoun said. “He’s a vey good player, a senior. They have a lot of seniors who are good.”

He’s not a senior, but another Ram who has been putting up solid numbers is Morgan McDonald.

The 6-foot-6 forward is nearly averaging a double-double with 12.0 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, giving the Rams a post presence to try to keep up with a Falcons team that’s near the top of the conference in every rebounding category.

The Falcons’ gameplan is simple, though, Calhoun said: win games.

“The name of the game is to win games and put ourselves at a position to make the NCAAs,” Calhoun said. “Our kids are hungry and know the big picture and i don’t see any quit in them. Sometimes you’ll see a little bit of quit, but I don’t see that in this group.”

NOTES: The Lady Falcons (7-5, 5-4 MEC) are coming off of a win over West Liberty and play the Lady Rams (2-12, 2-8 MEC) at 5:30 p.m. before the men’s game ... Makenzie White is coming off of a 22-point, six-assist, five-rebound, four-steal performance to lead FSU ... Gabby Flinchum leads Shepherd, averaging 15.9 points and 8.8 rebounds per game.

Email Matt Welch at mwelch@timeswv.com or follow on Twitter @MattWelch_TWV.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Berner, Hess lead W.Va. Open

    Threatening weather did not strike Wednesday, and it was a cool, breezy start to the 81st West Virginia Open played on the Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs.
     

    July 23, 2014

  • WVU, Tennessee finalize 2018 meeting

    West Virginia University and Tennessee have finalized their season-opening, Sept. 1, 2018, meeting in Charlotte, N.C., at Bank of America Stadium.
    Both teams will receive $2.5 million for the game and have a chance to earn up to $3.2 million with ticket incentives.
    Each team will buy 12,500 tickets and set aside 2,000 of its allotment for students.
    The game, played on the home field of the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, is being put on by the Charlotte Sports Federation.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Fleming, Billy.jpg WVU’s Fleming signs contract with Yankees

     Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.
    “Ever since I was a little kid, it’s been my dream to play professional baseball,” Fleming said. “It is still surreal that I get to chase my dream, but I am ready to get after it. I loved my three years at WVU and want to thank all the coaches that made it possible for me to achieve my dream.”

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Growing demands on college athletes concerns Wyant

    Fred Wyant, one of the greatest quarterbacks in West Virginia University’s history, has lashed out at today’s growing demands on college athletes.
    The 80-year-old Star City resident led the Mountaineers to a 30-4 record as the starter from 1952-1955. Percentage-wise, it’s clearly the best-ever record by a QB in school annals.
    Wyant, a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, came here after graduating with honors from Weston High School. That’s where WVU coach Art “Pappy” Lewis signed him to a four-year scholarship.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time.jpg Texas’ Strong prefers not talking about national title

    Charlie Strong riled up plenty of Texas fans during a statewide spring tour by saying the Longhorns wouldn’t be in the national championship game.
    The new coach toned down his honest assessment in future stops, then said Tuesday in his first appearance at Big 12 media days that he prefers not even talking about championships.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NMHS hopes new playing surface generates excitement

    The St. Louis Rams coined the nickname “The Greatest Show on Turf” for their collective group or multiple Hall of Famer-caliber players in during the 1999-2001 seasons. If Rams can run on turf, why not Huskies? 

    July 22, 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

  • Baylor coach isn't buying schedule strength argument

    The College Football Playoff committee has vowed that strength of schedule will be a major criteria when selecting the four teams.

    July 21, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos