The Times West Virginian

Sports

February 10, 2013

Falcons find focus, rout State

Stith sparks FSU in road win

INSTITUTE — With arguably its most important stretch of games this season looming on the horizon this week at the Joe Retton Arena Fairmont State’s men’s basketball team managed to stay focused and take care of business on the road Saturday evening here against West Virginia State at Fleming Hall.

FSU raced to a 10-2 lead less than three minutes into last night’s game and never looked back en route to an 87-70 victory over the Yellow Jackets.

“Losing last Monday at home to Wheeling was a wake-up call for us which we needed,” said FSU senior point guard Malik Stith, who led the Falcons Saturday with 15 points and a career-high nine assists. “Our focus needs to be sharp going into this week of games and the end of the season.

“For us it’s all about focus. We feel like we have one of the best teams in the country, but our focus has to be sharp every game no matter who we’re playing. It’s all business from here on out. We got a great road win tonight. It’s hard to beat a team twice in the same season.”

Fairmont’s focus was indeed sharp Saturday. The Falcons extended their 10-2 lead to as many as 20 late in the first half before settling for a 17-point, 49-32, lead at the break.

In the second half Fairmont again pushed the lead back to 20 before State made a nice run at the Falcons trimming the lead to just nine with 4:05 left to play.

FSU, however, led by Stith closed out the game on a 12-4 tear in the final 3:49 to seal their second win of the year over the Yellow Jackets. Stith scored seven of the final 12 points for the Falcons, who improved to 16-5 overall and to 14-3 in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

As noted the Falcons have three huge games this week at home at the Joe Retton Arena. They entertain seventh-place Pitt-Johnstown (14-8, 11-8) Monday evening at 7:30, third-place Alderson-Broaddus (15-6, 13-4) Thursday night at 7:30 and league-leading and No. 3 ranked West Liberty (22-1, 16-1) Saturday at 4 p.m.

“I told our kids everything in life happens for a reason,” said first-year FSU coach Jerrod Calhoun. “There’s a reason I got the Fairmont State job and there’s a reason we’ve lost certain games this year. You have to learn from your mistakes and setbacks and hopefully move forward and I think we did that tonight. We have to play basketball games for 40 minutes. Nothing less. I hope our guys understand that now.

“Tonight I thought we played for a very, very long period of time extremely hard. That was pleasing to me. We played a lot of guys tonight too and I thought our bench did a great job of giving us good minutes. We’ve got four games in seven days, including three big-time games at home this week so we needed some guys to step up. I hope the community understands how big these games really are for us and comes out to support us. This week is going to be huge for our basketball team.”

Saturday Fairmont once again got a balanced attack to dispose of the Yellow Jackets. Stith led the way with 15 points. Isaac Thornton and Brendan Cooper added 14 points apiece, Chase Morgan finished with 12 and Isaiah Hill contributed 11 points and nine rebounds. Cooper scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half. The Falcons shot nearly 52 percent from the field for the game (31-of-60) and had 23 assists on their 31 field goals.

“I think we’re one of the more balanced teams in the league which is great to have,” said Calhoun. “Chase got the start for us tonight because Stevie (Browning) has been having some migraines, but he’s okay. They both played well for us tonight. Really, everybody did.

“Now we’ve got to get ready for a very good UPJ team Monday. They have one of the top point guards in both the league and country in Nick Novak and they’re very good and very well coached.”

FSU will tangle with UPJ, a team the Falcons defeated 85-81 way back at the end of November, Monday at 7:30 p.m.

State, meanwhile, fell to 9-14 overall and to 6-11 in the league with Saturday’s loss. The Yellow Jackets were led by Anton Hutchins’ game-high 22 points. The only other State player to reach double figures was Juan Johnson, who finished with 10 points.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • James, Wade lead Heat past Bobcats in Game 1

    Each of the last two Miami championship runs has been highlighted by moments where a sharpshooter enters a game and immediately provides a surprise spark.

    April 20, 2014

  • Granderson lifts Mets over Braves in extras

    Slumping newcomer Curtis Granderson hit a sacrifice fly in the 14th inning and the New York Mets outlasted the Atlanta Braves 4-3 on Sunday to prevent a three-game sweep.

    April 20, 2014

  • NMHS #28 PITCH -TS.jpg Pitching pushes North past Monarchs in game two of doubleheader: PHOTOS

    North Marion coach Vic Seccuro wanted to send a message to his team, telling them to focus, bear down and grit out a victory.
    After falling 13-8 to Braxton County in game one of a Saturday doubleheader, the Huskies bounced back to beat John Marshall, 4-2, Saturday at North Marion High School.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • EFHS #21-OG #11-TS.jpg Bees split with Oak Glen on Senior Day: PHOTOS

    Twice on Saturday the East Fairmont softball team found itself leading Oak Glen 3-1 in the seventh inning.
    The situation was the same in both games of the doubleheader. The way the Bees’ handled it, though, was quiet different.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • NMHS #14, 21-RC #14-TS.jpg Lady Huskies fall to Ritchie County late, 5-4: PHOTOS

    It couldn’t have happened the way it did even if No. 6 Ritchie County had drawn it up.
    The bases were loaded. There were no outs. And by a swing of bad luck a fly ball was dropped in the outfield as two runs came across to score, propelling the Rebels to a 5-4 win over No. 9 North Marion in the final game of the Diamond Dawg Tournament at North Marion High School Saturday.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Watson tees off a new century at The Greenbrier

    You knew this was going to be one of those unpredictable, memorable days when you drove into the Greenbrier Resort and headed to the Old White Golf Course and found the best parking place in the joint.
    As Bob Uecker would say, right there in the front rooooow.

    April 20, 2014

  • Arrest warrant out for WVU recruit

    West Virginia University’s newest men’s basketball recruit, Tarik Phillip, has an order out for his arrest in North Carolina, according to a story in The Dominion-Post, which said three Gaston County Magistrate office spokespersons confirmed.

    April 20, 2014

  • WVU baseball powers past Oklahoma, 9-5

    The WVU baseball team tied a season high with 18 hits to defeat Oklahoma, 9-5, on Saturday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
    The win gives the Mountaineers their second Big 12 series win of the season and improves the overall record to 19-16 and 4-7 in conference play. Oklahoma drops to 25-16 overall and 5-7 in Big 12 play.

    April 20, 2014

  • Blue Jackets edge Pens, 4-3, in double OT

    Matt Calvert banged home a rebound 1:10 into the second overtime and the Columbus Blue Jackets earned the first playoff victory in franchise history with a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.

    April 20, 2014

  • Braun homers twice, rallies Brewers over Pirates, 8-7

    Ryan Braun hit two homers, including a two-run shot with two outs in the ninth inning that sent the Milwaukee Brewers over the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 Saturday night.
    Braun has five home runs this season after being suspended for the last 65 games of 2013 following Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Biogenesis drug scandal.

    April 20, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos