Tyler Foster Fayetteville State

Fayetteville State beats Claflin, takes control of CIAA South

Fayetteville State has taken control of the CIAA Southern Division as it has knocked off Winston-Salem State and Claflin back-to-back.

Fayetteville State continues to gather momentum on its quest to repeat as CIAA champion, picking up a key win to take control of the CIAA Southern Division.

FSU rebounded from a first half deficit to knock off Claflin for a 71-61 win at home, handing the visitors their second-consecutive loss with one game left before the CIAA Tournament. 

The Broncos (15-12, 10-5 CIAA, 6-3 South) had four players score in double figures, led by Tyler Foster, who had 18 points and eight rebounds. Kaleb Coleman tacked on 16 points and two steals and D’Marco Baucum chipped in as well with 11 points.

Allen Hatchett had a 13-point game to lead the Panthers (18-6, 9-6 CIAA, 5-4 South). Bryson Dennis added 12 points and Timothy McElroy contributed ten.

Fayetteville State out-rebounded Claflin 37-23 in Wednesday’s game, paced by nine boards from Khalil Ridges. The Broncos also collected 18 offensive rebounds and scored 21 second chance points.

The Fayetteville State defense was effective at taking away the basketball in Wednesday’s game, forcing 14 Claflin turnovers while committing 10. Those takeaways turned into 21 points on the offensive end of the floor. Cress Worthy’s three steals led the way individually for the Broncos.

After falling behind 12-5, Fayetteville State went on an 8-0 run with 14:54 left in the first half to take a 13-12 lead. The Broncos then surrendered that lead and entered halftime down 36-30.

After intermission, Fayetteville State managed to gain control and had a 62-56 lead before going on a 6-0 run, finished off by Ridges’ layup, to grow the lead to 68-56 with 1:15 to go in the contest. The Panthers narrowed the margin somewhat before the game was over, but the Broncos still cruised the rest of the way for the 71-61 win. Fayetteville State capitalized on seven Claflin turnovers in the period, collecting 13 points off those turnovers.

Fayetteville State heads into Saturday’s matchup with Saint Augustine’s with a chance to wrap up the Division title and secure a bye in the CIAA Tournament, which tips off on Tuesday, Feb. 22. 

Fayetteville State beats Claflin, takes control of CIAA South
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