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The Broncos Blog has a new home

If you’ve reached this page seeking the latest information and commentary surrounding Fayetteville State Broncos Athletics, feel free to peruse what is here from the blog’s inception back in late August 2010.

But the Broncos Blog has a new home where the reader has more options to comment, share and follow Broncos Athletics commentary and analysis, and that can now be found here: FSUBroncoBlog.com. 

The Broncos Blog will now be more readily available to fans of all HBCU athletics by its hosting site, HBCUFanNation.com. 

Aside from a new address, not much will change with the Broncos Blog — there will just be more eyes viewing the latest in FSU Athletics. And that is something sure to drive even more Bronco Pride!

To those who have frequented this site over the last few months, you are the ones who made this happen — allowing the Blog to make a move to keep up with the interest. The Broncos Blog has already generated more page views since the turn of the 2011 calendar than it did from August to December 2010, and the site has had more than 11,000 views just since September, with about 5,000 in just the last two months.

Thanks again, and be sure to check out FSUBroncoBlog.com today!

Fayetteville State’s 2011 Football Schedule Released

FAYETTEVILLE STATE RELEASES 2011 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Two Rivers Classic opens season on Sept. 3; Homecoming scheduled for Oct. 15 against Shaw

FAYETTEVILLE, NC – Football season never feels like it is too far away, and it feels even closer for Fayetteville State Broncos fans as the tentative 2011 football schedule has been released.

Fayetteville State will open its 2011 season with the Third Two Rivers Classic against UNC Pembroke at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3. The game will be played at Luther “Nick” Jeralds Stadium as the two programs clash to open their respective grid seasons for the third consecutive year.

The Broncos, who finished the season 5-5 a year ago to complete a season at .500 or better for the eighth time in head coach Kenny Phillips’ 11 years at the helm, are then scheduled to travel to play St. Paul’s for their first road game of the season on Sept. 10.

After that, Fayetteville State will begin a stretch of four home dates in a span of five games, kicking off with a 6 p.m. game against Elizabeth City State on Sept. 17 before traveling to rival Winston-Salem State on Sept. 24 to open CIAA play. Fayetteville State will then host St. Augustine’s (Oct. 1, 6 p.m.) and Virginia State (Oct. 8, 6 p.m.).

Homecoming is scheduled for Oct. 15 against Shaw. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m.

Fayetteville State will close its regular season with three games on the road: at Livingstone (Oct. 22, 1:30 p.m.), Johnson C. Smith (Oct. 29, 4 p.m.) and Virginia Union (Nov. 5, 1 p.m.).

Dates and times are subject to change.

To view a list of the schedule, go here.

My experience at the CIAA Tournament

Yeah, I’m tired. I can admit that. Been tired since day 1 of the CIAA Tournament. (And to find out more about me, go here and here.

But it doesn’t bother me.

And why should it? When Duke and North Carolina was still days away, I had been at the epicenter of college basketball in the state of North Carolina. Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte was electric the last couple of nights as the crowds got larger and the stakes got bigger. 

Where else would a kid who grew up feasting on college hoops want to be? To call it work would be a disservice to those who actually labor for a living, even though some of the days have started at 8:30 a.m. and didn’t let up until 2 a.m.

But why were those days so long? Because my team was winning. And so you will get no complaint out of me.

And that’s the beauty of the CIAA Tournament. As tired as your body might be telling you it is, as loudly as my back screams for the sour treatment the hotel room bed has given it, and for how much my left ear hurts – on the inside, deep in there – because of the two fire alarms last Friday morning, I knew I wouldn’t feel any of it as soon as the ball went into the air to start another game.

Yes, I wanted Fayetteville State to win, no matter what that meant for my work schedule and the continued lack of respect I was showing my mental and physical states. Not that any of that mattered. Because it became clear that caffeine and Tylenol have nothing on a 1-point game winding down its last 30 seconds.

Obviously, that’s adrenaline, but to get it from something so tangible that it’s literally a few feet away from your perch at the scorer’s table is absolutely breathtaking. I have nothing to do with the outcome of the games – my job comes mostly after the contest has been decided (hence the wake-up call’s ugly cousin, the 2 a.m. go-to-bed call).

But to be so wrapped up in what these kids are doing, what their coaches are telling them (“You’ve got to box out! This is a big boy’s game!”) and how it all transpires is a rush that leaves you in some form of hoops existentialism. You are left in this ether, and it’s either an aura of pure joy and satisfaction or utter disappointment.

And until overtime late Friday night, it was pure joy for the Fayetteville State Broncos and me. Before the heart-wrenching loss to Livingstone in the semifinals, watching how the Broncos beat rival and nemesis Winston-Salem State on Thursday night in the CIAA quarterfinals was one thing.

To experience it was another thing entirely. I know what these kids and coaches have gone through this season, but I am also aware that even I don’t know the half of it, that I’ve only seen the couple of layers immediately below the surface that the fans and alumni have seen.

Still, that’s enough for me to feel what those guys felt as they mobbed teammate Sidney Evans following his brilliant performance and game-winning 3-pointer, just the third out of 18 tries from long range he’s connected on all season.

And while the echoes could still be heard in the tunnel leading to the Broncos’ locker room long after the arena had emptied and the calendar had made its initial turn to Friday, the hushed tones didn’t come from the voices of the Broncos’ players.

Those echoes came from the old-timers who were still milling about, somewhere in their own ether and marking time with the ghosts of CIAAs past. It was their take on Fayetteville State’s thrilling 66-63 win that mattered the most. They could put the victory into perspective, into its proper place, and judging by their recollection – and by their feelings – place it among its rightful place in the tournament’s history.

And so that is what the CIAA Tournament is all about. It’s pride, but that pride comes with a price. It is arduous. It is long. And yes, it is tiring.

But it’s also a part of my job. And after that bucket Evans made while falling away into the courtside seats, after that euphoria and after another disjointed night of rest, it became clear to me.

The CIAA Tournament is a part of me.

And that part feels great.

CIAA Men’s Tournament — The Championship

A few quick notes from the CIAA Men’s Championship featuring the South’s No. 3 seed Livingstone vs. the South’s No. 2 seed, Shaw.

First Half

15:32 A huge first 4 minutes for Livingstone. No, the Blue Bears aren’t up by 10 early or something like that, but they do lead 5-3. It was just imperative that Livingstone get off to a decent start against the Bears, who have won games by 23 and 24 points in the tournament, and though they only beat JCSU by 13, they led by 31 in the second half of that game.

This is a good start to enable the Blue Bears to get settled in. The longer they hang around, the more pressure Shaw will feel as the overwhelming favorite. And that can be a tough place to be.

13:25 And now you can classify it as a huge start for Livingstone. 12-5, Blue Bears.

8:49 Call it house money. At least that’s how LC needs to think about it’s start to the game, because Shaw has come back and ripped off a 14-4 run to take a 19-16 lead. Devon McLendon with 10 points and Raheem Smith has seven.

4:13 Huge play for the Blue Bears. After a Raheem Smith deep 3 helped put the Bears up 27-21 — and perhaps on the precipice of a run — Carl Boswell buries a corner 3 while being fouled. He converts the 4-point play, and the Blue Bears are hanging around, 27-25.

Halftime Shaw 32, Livingstone 30

It’ll be interesting how Shaw handles the second half. The Bears have been blowing teams away, and doing it with tremendous shooting the floor — Shaw shot 67 percent deep into the second half against JCSU in the semifinals. All of their games had been decided by halftime. Now, though, they’re in a dogfight, despite still shooting it well, at 52 percent.

McLendon has 14 points while Raheem Morris has 12. That means the rest of the Bears have four.

Boswell leads LC with seven points, four of them coming on one play.

Second Half

17:28 One thing Shaw isn’t doing in this game — and it looks like it has affected the Bears — it isn’t pushing the ball to halfcourt in running its offense. There have been very few fast break or even secondary break opportunities for the Bears, and that’s what they do well. In the tournament, the guards have pushed the tempo, at least past halfcourt, to set up the offense. That’s not happening tonight. SU, 38-34.

16:20 Dwight Bell hits a jumper, and the Bears take their largest lead, 41-34. But Darius Cox answers with a wide open 3 from the top of the key, and the lead goes back to four.

The thing is, Livingstone is a tough matchup for Shaw. The Blue Bears are a lot like Shaw — anglular, long and athletic, and perhaps it is that slowing Shaw down. Trone Jackson has picked Shaw up full court quite a bit tonight, and it’s been just enough to slow things down. We have to remember, these two teams split the regular season series, and they each won on their home court. This is a neutral setting.

12:31 Good timeout by James Stinson, the CIAA Coach  of the Year. Tony Smith drove down the lane and and scored out of the secondary break. That was vintage 2011 CIAA Tournament for the Bears, and Stinson doesn’t want to see it again. 47-39, SU.

11:50 Huge 3 for Boswell and the Blue Bears. 47-42, SU.

10:30 Tony Smith couldn’t have looked worse on those foul shots. Could that be tired legs? The Smiths played a lot in those blowouts earlier in the week. SU, 49-44.

8:46 Unbelievable up-and-under reverse layup for McLendon, and Shaw might be breaking those one open. It’s 53-44, McLendon has 17 and Livingstone needs a timeout again.

6:36 Give the Blue Bears credit — they just won’t go away. They scored five straight points out of the timeout, and are right there, 53-48, for the home stretch.

5:56 After a Raheem Smith jumper — he has 19 — Greg Henry has a chance at a three-point play.

But he misses the bonus, 55-50, SU.

5:21 But Henry comes back, finds a gap in the Shaw zone, and hits a mid-range jumper. 55-52.

4:02 Bad shot and he knocked it down. Raheem Smith for 3 with a hand in his face. Bad shot? Not when it goes down. Big shot.

SU, 58-52.

3:38 Bears get out and run after the Tony Smith defensive rebound. David Jones gets the layup, and it’s an eight-point game, 60-52.

1:53 Big possession, Raheem Smith seems to lose the ball in the post, but he corrals and scores off the window. Tough break for LC. SU, 64-57.

1:34 And the foul. Jackson heads to the line for the Blue Bears. Misses, but LC gets the board — and can’t score.

And somehow Shaw’s McLendon gets the rebound from a seated position on the floor. Maybe the most important of his 13 rebounds tonight. SU, 64-59.

50 seconds All of a sudden we have a track meet. Back-and-forth twice, and LC is just down four, 68-64, after Donte Durant’s 3.

41.5 seconds And an offense foul is called. Livingstone ball.

30.2 seconds Cox at the line.

And misses the first.

And the second

But he gets his own rebound. Mid-range jumper….no good. Shaw rebound.

25.8 seconds McLendon with another rebound. He’ll go to the line. Makes the front end of the 1-and-1. And the second. 70-64.

10 seconds Good look for Jackson, down four — no good. Shaw should survive now.

2.7 seconds But Cox drains a 3!  70-69. Not done yet.

2.3 seconds Raheem Smith to the line for two. Gordan Hayward anybody?

Makes the first. And the second.

LC calls timeout. They should get a look.

:00 Henry from halfcourt.

Short.

FINAL: Shaw 72, Livingstone 69.

Raheem Smith with 28 points while McLendon had 19 points and 14 boards.

Cox with 19 and 11 for LC while Boswell and Henry add 10 each.

CIAA Women’s Tournament Finals — Shaw vs. JCSU

We are awaiting the tip off of the CIAA Women’s Tournament finals between No. 2 South Shaw vs. Southern Division champion Johnson C. Smith.

Smith won both of the meetings against Shaw this year, winning by six and seven points, respectively. But the Lady Bears are 7-1 since former Maryland transfer Dee Liles joined the team. Liles has seven double-doubles in her eight games, though one of those losses came against Smith, which has been the class of the league all season and is coached by CIAA Women’s Coach of the Year Vanessa Taylor.

These two teams are accumstomed to this stage, with Shaw winning four straight titles from 2003-2006 and then again in 2008. The Lady Bears defeated JCSU three times, though the Golden Bulls won the title in 2009.

Check back here often for running updates and commentary.

First Half

18:10 Bears had hit their first four shots from the field, with Kyria Buford getting two tough buckets. But a Terran Quattlebaum 3 keeps things close, 8-5.

15:46 A pretty spin move in the open floor by Allyssa Lane gives the Bears a 10-5 lead, but the Bulls are doing a pretty good job of offensive rebounding against the bigger Bears, and after a put-back from LaQwesha Gamble, Terrica Jones will have a chance at a three point play to tie things up at 10.

She misses the bonus, but it’s 10-9. Good start for both teams.

14:59 Liles is just on a different level than most of the players in the conference. You can just see in when she plays. It’s not somehting you can describe. Nice three-point play there, 15-9. Go here for more on Liles, who was a substantial D-1 player at Maryland.

12:53 A jumper by Shaw’s Brittney Spencer makes it an 8-0 run for the Lady Bears, who take their biggets lead, 17-9.

11:06 Three of Shaw’s last three shot attempts have been 3-pointers, with Liles taking two of them. They’re squandering opportunities by doing that. Bears need to use their size. 17-11.

10:15 And after dribble-penetration from Lane, things open up for the Bears. Lane scores on a mid-range jumper, then Buford hits a similar one from the wing. The run is 11-2 and Shaw leads by its largest margin, 21-11.

7:56 No change in the last 2-plus minutes, except still more settling from Shaw on the perimeter. Being up 10 already, if the Bears just get more efficient, they could blow this game open before halftime. Otherwise, they are allowing JCSU to hang around, and if Quattlebaum gets hot (more like, when she gets hot), Shaw is going to rue being 0-for-6 from 3. In fact, after hitting on its first four shots, Shaw is now just 5 of its last 20.

6:58 Perfect. Liles gets the ball in the post, and talent takes over. She converts the three-point play, and it’s a 14-4 run, a 24-11 lead, and Smith hasn’t scored since the 11:27 mark.

5:03 Turnovers on two of Shaw’s last three possessions, and JCSU has answered with a 6-0 spurt and closed to 26-19.

4:40 Racquel Davis with a leaner, and it’s an 8-0 run and a 26-21 game. Right now, JCSU has stepped up its defensive pressure in the Shaw backcourt and is more poised on offense.

3:16 Good strong post move by Gamble, and it’s a 10-1 run. Good entry pass from Quattlebaum. SU, 27-23.

2:14 Buford is tired, breathing through her mouth, and she comes out. Four games in four days getting to the Bears?

1:36 JCSU’s Shakeena Cunningham hits two foul shots, and now it’s a 12-1 run and a 27-25 game. Shaw has not had a field goal since the 6:31 mark.

Halftime: Shaw 27, JCSU 25

Second Half

18:50 Great start by Shaw in the second half, getting two quick buckets to get the bad taste of the last 7 minutes of the first half out of their mouths. 31-25, SU.

17:47 Now Quattlebaum gets a runner and two foul shots. If she gets hot… SU, 31-29.

15:45 Quattlebaum back at the line. This could get her going (3 of 11 from the field). She’s got six straight, and JCSU is within one, 32-31.

12:27 JCSU’s Terrica Jones hits a deep jumper, then buries a 3 on the wing, and the Golden Bulls are on a 13-2 run to pick up the lead, 38-34. Quattlebaum and Jones with 11 points in the run.

10:02 Jones again with another long-range jumper. This one is from the corner, and now the run goes to 18-5 and JCSU builds its largest lead, 43-37. Jones has seven points in the spurt and nine in the game.

7:58 Shaw is turnover the ball over a lot — 17 times. And those 1-shot possessions feel like turnovers, too. JCSU, 45-39.

7:33 And a huge 3 from Shaw”s Spencer, followed by a score from Aslea Williams. Shaw is back in it, 45-44.

6:06 And quickly, eight straight points for Shaw after the three-point play from Williams. Bears re-take the lead, 47-45.

5:10 Seven straight points from Williams after the strong post move. It’s a 10-0 run, and the Bears have absolutely come alive. SU, 49-45.

4:39 Make it a 12-0 run after the run-out by Shaw’s Lane. 51-45. The teams have traded six-point leads.

3:10 Great pass from Williams to Lies. That’s how it’s done — and how it should’ve been done all night. Shaw, 53-47.

1:57 Shaw still holding onto its six-point lead, 53-47. A couple of solid possessions to go with defenisve rebounding, and the Bears will have their sixth title in nine years.

1:18 That might do it. Lane hits a corner jumper to beat the shot clock, and SU takes a 55-48 lead. Devastating shot for JCSU.

52 seconds Gamble hits a 3. Off the glass, too. Not over yet. 55-51.

33.9 seconds OK, it is now. Buford with the bank shot. 57-51.

14.1 seconds Then again, maybe not. Tyra Breaux with a DEEP 3. 57-54. Shaw needs to make foul shots.

13.2 seconds Lane will go to the line. One-and-one.

Makes it. Huge. 58-54.

Makes the second. 59-54.

4.2 seconds Shaw will still need free throws — and remmeber, it’s only 1-and-1 — after Quattlebaum hits a jumper off an offensive rebound. 59-56.

3.2 seconds JCSU’s Breaux has no choice but to push Liles after she gets the pass deep and past the defense. It’s an intentional foul, and this one is over.

FINAL: Shaw 62, Johnson C. Smith 56

The CIAA Tournament — Men’s and Women’s Semifinals

As we have had all week, we will continue to have running updates from the day’s action at the semifinal round of the CIAA Tournament, straight from the sidelines.

The action begins at1  p.m. at Time Warner Cable Arena, as the women’s teams return to the floor for the first time since Tuesday.

And when Fayetteville State begins its semifinal game tonight at 9 against Livingstone, go here for that commentary.

And in case you want to go back over any of the previous blogs from the tournament, they can be found here: Day 1 Women’s; Day 2 Women’s; Day 1 Men’s; Day 2 Men’s.

St. Augustine’s vs. Shaw

Dee Liles continues to dominate the women’s tournament as the Maryland transfer leads Shaw to a commanding 43-25 lead over the Lady Falcons at the half of the first game today. She has 10 points and four rebounds to this point, which virutally negates anything the CIAA Player of the Year, St. Aug’s Allison Sikes, has done to this point.

Sikes has a game-high 11 points, but Kyria Buford adding eight points for Shaw and three other Lady Bears’ players with at least six points, it’s easy to see why the game belongs to the Lady Bears right now.

Second Half

A great effort by St. Aug’s to make a run in this gaem and keep Shaw from putting it away early, but there’s just too much size and talent on the Shaw side for the Lady Bears to give away an 18-point halftime lead.

Liles finishes with 17 points and 10 boards  –not to mention seven blocks, a new school record for Shaw — while Buford adds 13 points and eight rebounds to push Shaw to the 74-65 victory. Aslea Williams added 14 points while Brittney Spencer had 12 to pace the Lady Bears.

Sikes did all she could, finishing with a game-high 22 points to go with seven rebounds. CIAA Rookie fo the Year Umeka Benson had 12 points, as did Le’Kiesha White.

Up Next:

Bowie State vs. Johnson C, Smith

12:15 Two evenly matched teams both playing pretty well in the early going, though Bowie State puts a mini-run together to take a 17-12 lead at the second media timeout.

7:27 Bowie begins to stretch things out a little with a 10-2 run, taking its biggest lead, 27-18.

Halftime: Bowie State 36, Johnson C. Smith 27

Teaunsha Robinson, Juliette Turner, Brianna Taylor and Chanita Jordan each have seven points or more for the Lady Bulldogs, who continue to hold the Lady Golden Bulls at bay (Robinson also has six rebounds and is shooting 4-of-5 from the floor). Terran Quattlebaum has three 3-pointers to keep JCSU in it, but right now, it’s not enough to counteract the balance that Bowie is showing out there.

14:32 It didn’t take long for JCSU to make it a game. The Bulls trail by only four, and the last 15 minutes are set up for a thriller. But each time JCSU has clsoed a bit, Bowie has found a way to make a run. Let’s see what happens this time.

5:54 This time Bowie can’t answer, but the Lady Bulldogs are putting upa  strong fight. But this one is going to the wire. BSU leads 56-54.

5:39 And just like, that Shontanette Shaw hits a runner, and JCSU takes a 57-56 lead.

1:57 BSU’s Lakisha Walker buries two foul shots. Clutch. That’s four straight for her, and it gives BSU a 62-60 lead.

45.3 seconds But JCSU’s drills a wing 3-pointer. The Bulls have just kept coming back in thsi one, all day. Now they can play straight-up defense. Don’t need to foul. 64-63, BSU.

34 seconds And Terran Quattlebaum with a steal and a layup! She may have stolen the game for JCSU as well. 65-64, Bulls.

28 seconds And Bowie throws the ball away! Steal by Shaw.

20.7 seconds Quattlebaum with two very calm foul shots. JCSU, 67-64.

4 seconds Taylor’s 3 misses, and Shakeena Cunningham hits the big foul shot. It’s over.

FINAL: Johnson C. Smith 69, Bowie State 64

It will be Shaw vs. the Lady Golden Bulls in the final Saturday at 5 p.m. And the JCSU men’s team could join its women’s team in the finals if it beats Shaw tonight at 7. It could very well be an all-JCSU day on Saturday.

Big games for Quattlebaum and LaQwesha Gamble, who each have 17 points for the Bulls.

Teaunsha Robinson didn’t score for Bowie in the second half, and the Bulldogs didn’t get nearly as much out of Taylor (11 points), Jordan (13) and Turner (16) as they did in the first half.

Up next, the beginning of the men’s semifinals, with Johnson C. Smith vs. Shaw at 7 p.m.

JOHNSON C. SMITH VS. SHAW

FIRST HALF

19:12 That’s the first bad shot I’ve seen Raheem Smith take in three days.

17:11 JCSU has it hits first three shots. 7-2, early.

14:46 Both teams are sharp offensively, and with JCSU leading 13-9 — and still perfect, now 6-for-6 — that has to be the most points we’ve seen all week at the first media timeout.

14:02 7-for-7, and yet JCSU leads just 15-13.

12:30 Six straight points — and two misses for JCSU — and Shaw has a 17-15 lead. Honestly, not a whole lot of defensive effort so far. But the outlet passes have been nice.

12:06 A n offensive rebound off a second missed four shot, and yet Shaw still gets a score, and it’s an 8-0 run and a 19-15 edge.

11:34 The PA announcer said it best: “Tony Smith, all alone.” 12-0 run for a 21-15 Shaw lead. To take that opening punch from JCSU and turn it right around for a big run and a lead? That might be the decisive stretch of the game already.

10:31 Foul shots coming for Tony Smith. Dwight Bell has eight quick points for Shaw, which, if you can believe this, is now out-shooting JCSU (67-63 percent). 13-0 run and a 22-15 lead.

10:07 Jamaar Hosier with the thunderous dunk draws the “S-U!” “YOU KNOW!” chant. It’s also 15 straight for Shaw. 24-15.

9:43 And coach Stephen Joyner has seen enough — for the third time. Raheem Smith cruises through the paint and lays it in, and it’s a 17-0 run and a 28-15 Shaw lead.

7:34 That Joyner timeout has helped. Smith is back to being crisp on the offensive end, and the Bulls have scored the last seven points. Back to a ballgame, with Shaw leading 28-22.

6:04 But Shaw answers with its own 7-0 spurt, and it’s back to a 13-point game, 35-22.

3:02 And that run moves to 13-4, and Shaw is in firm control to this point, ahead by its biggest margin, 41-26. Devin McLendon with 11 points and Raheem Smth with 10. Confident Bears again.

Halftime: Shaw 45, JCSU 30

The run had gotten to 15-4 and a 19-point Shaw lead. The Bears, shooting 62 percent from the field, are doing everything right. Obviously, they look incredible on offense. But it’s how they do it, by pushing the tempo to get into the halfcourt set, then work from there. Shaw doesn’t walk the ball up the floor, that’s for sure.

Another thing: the Bears have been the best team at the tournament in help defense. And that’s leading to a lot of offensive opportunities as well.

Second Half

17:35 What else is new? Twice the shot clock is running down, and both Bell and Johnson hit jumpers. Shaw has done it all tournament.

17:14 Tony Smith with a bucket, and the Bears open the half with an 8-0 run. Bulls burn yet another timeout. Shaw in a runaway, 53-30.

16:47 10-0.

55-30.

15:52 12-0.

57-30.

15:40 14-0.

59-30.

15:01 18-2.

63-32

13:44 22-4.

67-34

And yet another JCSU timeout. And five new players take the floor.

This is incredible. Good thing Fayetteville State and Livingstone are in their locker rooms. They wouldn’t want to see this.

12:00 All five Shaw starters are in double figures.

10:21 An 8-0 barely cuts into it. Still a 25-point game, 67-42.

6:07 Bulls have cut it to 20. If they get it to 10 by the 3-minute mark…

5:01 JCSU on a 20-6 run, and have trimmed it to…19. Shaw still in front 73-54.

3:35 Shaw has stalled, but it’s still a 19-point game, 75-56. But the JCSU bench is up, and players are saying things like, “There’s still time.”

JCSU’s Earl Jackson, clapping furiously, tells his team, “Keep fighting! Let’s go! Keep fighting!”

2:44 Ronald Thornhill with a 3, and it’s 75-59.

2:21 Goaltending against Shaw. 75-61.

Jackson: “Keep fighting!”

2:03 But that should do it. Raheem Smith draws the blocking foul and hits the leaner. It’sa  three-point play, 78-61.

FINAL: Shaw 82, Johnson C. Smith 69

But it wasn’t that close. Not at all.

The next semifinal is coming up between Fayetteville State and Livingstone. For commentary on that game, go here.

CIAA Tournament Semifinals — Broncos vs. Livingstone

BRONCOS FACE LIVINGSTONE IN CIAA TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS

CHARLOTTE, NC – The Fayetteville State run at the CIAA Tournament continues.

For the first time in three years, the Broncos have advanced to the CIAA semifinals, where they will face Livingstone, a team Fayetteville State split the regular season series with.

The Broncos (15-13) come into the game riding an emotional high after Sidney Evans (Jr., Durham, NC) buried a game-winning 3-pointer with 6 seconds remaining to lift Fayetteville State past rival and 2010-11 nemesis Winston-Salem State in the quarterfinals on Thursday night.

“To be a champion, it takes a lot of hard work,” said Evans of the win over the Rams, the Southern Division champion. “Maybe even a little bit of luck, too.”

Evans scored a game-high 22 points in the victory, which came on the heels of tremendous performances by John Herrington (Jr., Jacksonville, FL) and Tyrrel Tate (Fr., Raleigh, NC) in the opening-round game against Virginia State.

The Blue Bears (16-11) are also coming off a big win after slipping past the North’s No. 2 seed Virginia State 59-58 on Thursday. Donte Durant led Livingstone with 13 points and eight rebounds while Greg Henry added 11 points.

It is the first time since 2008 that FSU has reached the tournament semifinals, when the Broncos slipped by Bowie State 67-65 to advance to the finals to play Johnson C. Smith. This is the 10th trip to the CIAA Final Four for the Fayetteville State, which is 6-3 all-time in CIAA semifinal games. The Broncos and Blue Bears have met three times in the CIAA Tournament, with FSU holding a 2-1 record in that series, including a 70-67 win in the opening round of the 2009 tournament.

The Broncos won the first meeting this season at home against the Blue Bears 92-78 on Feb. 12, despite a career-high 32 points from Darius Cox, knocking Livingstone from the Atlantic Region rankings in the process. But the Blue Bears clipped Fayetteville State 58-56 in Salisbury on Feb. 21, getting 13 points from Quentin Redfern.

Fayetteville State coach Alphonza Kee said the Broncos won’t gameplan the Blue Bears much differently than they have earlier in the season.

“We have our style of play and we’ll do the best we can with that,” Kee said. “We’ll try to do what we do well, just like they’ll try to do what do well.”

Livingstone coach James Stinson was named as the CIAA Coach of the Year at the men’s basketball awards banquet on Tuesday night.

The winner will face either Shaw or Johnson C. Smith in the CIAA Championship on Saturday at 8 p.m.

Check back often for running commentary and analysis.

Pregame news: Fayetteville State starter Jarmel Baxter, a key defensive player for the Broncos, is out of tonight’s game with a sore knee. Freshman Devin Thompson will get the start in Baxter’s place. Thompson helped key a late run in the second half against Winston-Salem State.

First Half

17:44 Seth Hawkins settles the Broncos down with a 3-pointer after FSU has two turnovers in its first two possession while LC looks like its in perfect rhythm. 6-3, LC.

15:30 Broncos are doing a good job forcing Livingstone into jump shots rather than anything on the block. A Time Plummer jumper off an offensive rebound nets five straight for FSU, and this feels like a new game already, especially after how the first 2 minutes went. 6-5, LC.

14:59 Plummer with a put-back, and it’s a 7-0 Broncos run.

14:24 Make a 9-0 run after a deep jumper from Jarrick Jones in the corner.  Big response for FSU, 9-6.

12:30 Tyrrel Tate with a three-point play, drawing the contact as he went up. Savvy, veteran move from the freshman. Broncos lead it 14-10.

Sidney Evans and Plummer with four rebounds each already.

11:16 Livingstone center Nasir Austin picks up his second foul. Big loss for a while there for the Blue Bears.

And Evans hits two from the line and the Broncos lead 16-11.

10:04 Darius Cox with the open 3. Broncos allowed just enough dribble-penetration to allow that. 18-all.

7:57 Livingstone re-takes the lead with a contested 17-footer by Cox. Nothing the Broncos could do about that one. 22-21, LC.

7:21 Plummer looks in great rhythm tonight, offensively and defensively. He buries a 3, and the Broncos hit on five straight points. FSU, 25-22.

5:18 Another contested shot, and again Cox just buries it. This looks like how he started his career-high 32-point night against FSU. He’s got nine already as the game is tied at 27-all.

3:52 Still 27-all, and it’s kind of hard to imagine either team making a large run in this game. These are two of the league’s top scoring offenses, and that’s been on display here. When FSU can make a quick outlet for its first pass in a possession, that tends to lead to a pretty easy basket. It’s about the first step for the Broncos in this one, who scored 92 points in the win over Livingstone and just 56 in the loss.

2:58 After a great steal and score on an inbounds pass by Plummer (he has nine points and six boards already), Livingstone’s Greg Henry posterizes about three Broncos with a one-handed jam. Then Trone Jackson gets a put-back up and in while being fouled. LC, 31-29.

2:23 Refs want to look at the monitor to see Evans use his elbow to push away Jackson, who had been called for a foul after reaching in to try to force a jumpball. Evans did use his elbow, but it was nothing more than something the refs could’ve evened out by just talking to Evans and Jackson.

And  it doesn’t appeared that the monitor has it. Play on, with LC up 33-29.

1:10 Second foul charged to Herrington, who will have a seat. Herrington doing a nice job off the bench again with seven points. LC leads 35-33 after the foul shots.

35.4 seconds Andre Best’s dribble-drive draws Cox’s second foul. Good play for the Broncos. Cox has 13 and is in rhythm. Being in even a little bit of foul trouble could take him out of that rhythm. 37-34, LC.

:00 seconds Jones scores on a putback at the buzzer, and FSU trails by just one, 37-36 at the break. This one’s going to the wire.

Second Half

18:56 Donte Fields with a put-back and Hawkins with a long 2 — no, wait, give him 3 after the montior review. Five straight to start for FSU and it’s a 7-0 run. FSU, 41-37. Hawkins with nine points.

17:08 Both teams trying to find a rhythm again in the second half. 43-41, FSU.

16:27 Austin with his third foul, and Livingstone goes to a zone. Broncos score quickly against with an Evans put-back. 45-41, FSU.

15:00 Cox hasn’t gotten many touches in the second half thus far, and it shows in the stagnation of the LC offense. 45-43, FSU.

14:03 Fields called for the foul as Jackson puts in the runner. The foul shot is no good, but LC ties it at 45.

13:13 Tate, like Cox, needs to get touches. This time Andre Best finds him, and Tate swishes a 14-footer. 47-45, FSU.

11:42 The pace has considerably slowed, and the odd thing about that is … it’s hurt BOTH teams. Neither one has any flow. But they’re equal. FSU 47-45.

11:00 Great, great offensive rebound by Tate, and the Broncos lead 49-45. Offensive rebounds just kill a zone.

10:30 Tate with two foul shots, and the Broncos take their biggest lead, 51-45. A modest, yet important, 6-0 run.

8:39 After six straight points right back from Livingstone — four by Quintin Redfern, Evans bounces back with a three-point play to give FSU a 54-51 lead.

6:35 Livingstone has slowed things way down on offense. Trying to spread the floor. Instead, they just throw it away late in the shot clock. 54-52, FSU.

5:27 Cox draws the foul against Evans, his third, and the Broncos’ 10th. LC in the double-bonus the rest of the way. Cox hits one, and it’s 54-53, FSU.

4:17 Broncos haven’t scored since the 8:39 mark, but LC hasn’t done much with it, scoring only two points from the line in that stretch. LC’s last field goal came at 8:50. 54-53, FSU.

3:15 Livingstone gets two foul shots from Cox, and now the Blue Bears lead, 55-54.

3:03 Plummer whistled for a player control foul. I thought the Oscars were last week. C’mon, it’s a 1-point game inthe final 3 minutes. Let ’em play.

2:54 Jackson with a runner in the lane, the fiert field goal for either team in about 6 minutes. Livingstone leads 57-54. It’s six straight points.

2:00 After nothing would go down, somehow Greg Henry makes an off-balance leaner to go. 59-54, Livingstone, and 8-0 run.

1:52 Plummer is fouled though, and heads to the line.

He misses the first.

Makes the second. 59-55.

1:22 Hawkins with a steal after LC had the offensive rebound.

1:07 Evans with a big bucket on the put-back. Broncos’ first field goal since the 8:39 mark. It’s a ballgame again, 59-57.

1:00 Broncos need a stop.

33 seconds Bad possession for LC, which tries to spread the floor. BUt they get a tough shot at the shot clock buzzer.

29.7 seconds And Best is fouled in the open flooor. Double-bonus, so Best can tie it.

But Best appears to be hurt. And he doesn’t look Broncos.

FSU will have to sub the foul shooter, and it has to be somehone who wasn’t on the floor.

And it’ll be Fields, who rattles the first one home. But he misses the second one. 59-58.

Long rebound to Jackson, who’s going in for the layup.

BUT IT’S BLOCKED BY FIELDS! WHAT A PLAY!

Broncos ball, and FSU calls timeout with 18.2 seconds left.

It’s win or go home.

Put Ariel Robinson in. He’s had a rough night, but you know the drill by now…

He always makes the big shot.

2.1 seconds Plummer to the rack.. he’s fouled.

Missed the first.

Have to pray for overtime now.

Timeout, Livingstone.

There’s the horn. Here we go.

Nets.

59-59.

OVERTIME

4:39 Henry gets the lop and lays it in while being fouled. Broncos have to be careful they don’t fall behind too much too early. It’s their first OT game of the year. Three-point play, 62-59.

4:24 Good answer from Evans. 62-61.

3:47 Good defensive possession for the Broncos, and Fields draws the foul against Cox, his fourth.

Lane violation wipes out Fields’ make. Still 62-61, LC.

3:32 Broncos working offense-defense with Herrington and Fields.

3:21 Tyler Johnson with a three-point play. Damn. 65-61, LC.

2:18 The ball just fell into Cox’s hands. Plummer blocked a shot with the shot clock winding down, but the ball went to Cox. And he buries a 15-footer from the baseline. What can you do? 67-61, LC.

2:08 FSU turnover.

1:59 Jackson is fouled, and hits ’em both. The slipper doesn’t fit. 69-61.

1:48 Evans fouls out.

Redfern hits both. 71-61. 12-2 in OT.

1:41 Then again, Robinson makes big shots, just like that 3. Not done yet. 71-64.

1:40 FSU chooing to extend the game here, sending Johnson to the line. He hits one, 72-64.

1:37 FSU turnover.

1:35 Henry hits two foul shots. 74-64.

1:32 Robinson is fouled, and he calmly hits both. Still 90 seconds left. 74-66.

1:30 Broncos are going to keep extending it. Good plan. Make Livingstone earn its first trip to the finals.

And so far, they are. Henry hits 1 of 2. 75-66.

1:21 Need to score in a hurry, but that shot awas a little rushed. Rebound goes out of bounds to Blue Bears. And Redfern heads to the line.

Missed both.

1:14 Plummer is fouled. Good aggressive move. But it looked like it might go down. That would’ve been huge.

Plummer misses the first. Makes the second. 75-67.

1:12 Redfern back to the line. And he makes 1 of 2. 76-67.

55 seconds Broncos get a couple of looks at the basket, but nothing will go down.

35.6 seconds The iron unkind. Broncos have just three field goals since the 8:39 mark of the second half. It’s not meant to be. Only a matter of time running off now. 78-67

FINAL: LIVINGSTONE 81, FAYETTEVILLE STATE 71