Fayetteville, NC – The Fayetteville State University men's basketball team dropped a cross-divisional matchup 74-73 to Virginia Union University on Saturday, January 7th at Felton J. Capel Arena. FSU moves to 5-8 in the overall standings and 1-4 in conference, while the Panthers improve to 11-4 overall and 3-0 in the CIAA.
The Broncos shot 50% (25-50) from the floor and 75% (18-24) from the foul line, compared to 43% (25-58) from the field and 78% (18-23) from the charity stripe for VUU. Fayetteville State edged the Panthers in points in the paint (36-34) and second chance points (14-11), but lost the rebounding battle 34-30.
Fayetteville State held a lead for the first five minutes of the opening half. VUU scored 11 unanswered points to grab an 18-10 advantage with 14:05 on the clock in the first half. The Broncos trailed 44-32 at halftime. Redshirt junior guard Carl McCray (Roper, NC) had 10 points in the initial period.
FSU exploded out of the starting blocks in the second half with a 10-2 scoring run. Sophomore guard Isaiah Vinson (Fayetteville, NC) drained a three-pointer with 16:05 to play, which cut the deficit to 46-42. As the half commenced, Virginia Union watched lead shrink to 57-56 after a layup from senior forward Jason Lee (Raleigh, NC) with 9:07 remaining.
VUU did not relinquish their advantage and eventually stretched the lead to 72-63 with 1:48 left to play. Fayetteville State drew closer with a pair of free throws from McCray and senior forward Michael Tyson (Kinston, NC). With just 22 seconds remaining, McCray nailed a three-point field goal to bring FSU within one possession (74-72).
Ray Anderson committed a turnover on the next Panthers' offensive possession. Redshirt freshman guard Josh Bryant (Fayetteville, NC) was fouled and sent to the foul line to shoot two. Bryant made the first to cut it to a one point game. Unfortunately, Bryant missed the game tying second free throw and time expired after the defensive rebound.
Bryant finished with a game and season-high 23 points, along with six rebounds and two steals. McCray pitched in 15 points.
Anderson had a team-high 14 points for the Panthers. James Paige and Marcus Hoosier had 11 points apiece.
Fayetteville State will play again on Monday, January 9th in a CIAA cross-divisional contest against Bowie State University. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Capel Arena.