FAYETTEVILLE, NC —The Fayetteville State men’s basketball team got a 19-point performance from the bench and committed just nine turnovers on the way to a 55-53 victory against the Claflin Panthers at home Thursday. The victory jumps the Broncos back to the top seed in the southern division.
The Broncos (12-10, 7-3 CIAA) had two players score in double figures, led by Tyler Foster, who had 15 points and two blocks. Cress Worthy added 11 points and four assists and Khalil Ridges added seven points.
“At the top of our list is that we could not have any live ball turnovers,” said head coach Luke D’Alessio. “Down the stretch, we didn’t turn the ball over and I thought that was tremendous.”
Led by Foster’s four offensive rebounds, Fayetteville State did a great job crashing the offensive glass as well, pulling down 16 boards that resulted in 19 second-chance points.
Fayetteville State forced 14 Claflin turnovers while committing just nine themselves in Thursday’s game. The Broncos turned those takeaways into 14 points on the other end of the floor. Sean Tony Hauser led the way individually with one steal.
“We want to keep working on our defense because that is our bread and butter,” D’Alessio said postgame. “We still need to get a little better on offense, continue to not turn the ball over and make open shots when we have them.”
After falling behind 10-4, Fayetteville State went on a 14-0 run with 13:27 left in the first half, culminating in a bucket from Ridges, to take an 18-10 lead.
The Broncos then lost some of that lead, but still entered halftime with a 26-21 advantage. Fayetteville State got a great contribution from its bench in the period, as non-starters accounted for 15 of its 26 total points.
Fayetteville State kept its lead intact before going on a 5-0 run, finished off by Foster’s layup, to grow the lead to 41-35 with 9:22 to go in the contest.
The Panthers narrowed the margin somewhat before the game was over, but the Broncos still held on for the 55-53 win. Fayetteville State took care of business in the paint, recording 18 of its 29 points in the lane.
Courtesy: Fayetteville State Athletics