Golden Bulls Edge Broncos in 68-58 Thriller

No. 1 Southern Division seed Johnson C. Smith University continued their impressive season run, improving to 19-10 to advance and face the winner of the Bowie State University/Livingstone College contest Friday in the semi-finals at the Spectrum Center at 9:00 p.m. Fayetteville State University (8-21) closes the book on their season despite an impressive game falling by 10 points, 68-58.

Josh Bryant added the opening basket at the 18:41 mark to give the Broncos a 2-0 lead. A back-and-forth half between the teams saw eight ties and eight lead changes. Johnson C. Smith outscored Fayetteville State 14-10 in points in the paint, but was outscored in second chance points (5-2), fast break points (2-0) and in bench points (16-5).

A three-pointer from FSU's Jeremiah Pope at the 3:55 mark ignited an 11–2 run to close out the half and give the Broncos a 32-28 advantage going in to the half. The Golden Bulls finished the half shooting 30.3 percent (10-of-33) from the floor, 20 percent (3-of-15) from downtown, and 55.6 percent (5-of-9) from the foul line while Fayetteville State shot 38.5 percent (10-of-26) from the field, 41.7 percent (5-of-12) from behind the arc, and 77.8 (7-of-9) from the candy stripe.

Coming out of the half, JCSU's Roddric Ross connected on a three-pointer at the 19:08 mark to tighten the game at 32-31, before taking the team's final lead, 43-42, with 12:28 remaining the contest. The Broncos closed out the game shooting 37.8 percent (17-of-45) from the floor, 34.8 percent (8-of-23) from downtown, and 64 percent (16-of-25) from the line while Johnson C. Smith shot 38.3 percent (23-of-60) from the field, 25 percent (6-of-25) from behind the arc, and 59.3 percent (16-of-27) from the candy stripe.

The Golden Bulls led by as much as 10 points in the second half and outscored the Broncos 32-16 in the paint, 19-8 in points off turnovers, and 4-2 in fast points while FSU led in second chance points (10-7), and bench points (16-8) for the game.

Ross led the way for JCSU with a game-high 23 points and six rebounds while the CIAA Player of the Year Robert Davis added 16 in the victory. 

Willie Gilmore was the leading scorer for Fayetteville State, contributing 17 points and seven boards in the effort. Bryant chipped in (14) while Denzell Hosch added 13, rounding-out all scorers in double-figures, respectively.

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