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College Basketball

WBB: Smith-Faulkner's 21 points put St. Aug in CIAA quarterfinals

Posted February 26, 2013

— All season long, Saint Augustine’s University has been led by a young cast of players. The Lady Falcons placed four players on the All-CIAA Rookie team with CIAA rookie of the year Regime McCombs (Fr./Greenville, S.C.) leading the way.

But on Tuesday at the CIAA Tournament, the Lady Falcons relied on a veteran player to carry them through the first round. Autumn Smith-Faulkner (Sr./Charlotte, N.C.), playing in her hometown, stepped up when teammates needed her, scoring a career-high 21 points to lift the Lady Falcons to a 67-63 victory over Chowan University to advance to Wednesday’s quarterfinals at Time Warner Cable Arena. The win snapped a three-game losing streak, but more importantly, gave the Lady Falcons the belief they can make some noise in the tournament.

“It’s win or go home and I just didn’t want to go home,” Smith-Faulkner said. “It’s my last time here. After this, it’s over, so we just have to fight for the entire game.”

Smith-Faulkner, named Food Lion MVP of the game, came through for the Lady Falcons in the first half when they really needed her. She reached her previous career high of 15 points in the first half to keep the Lady Falcons afloat when the young players were adjusting to their first league tournament game. Her red-hot shooting (8-for-12 including 3-for-4 three pointers) kept the Lady Falcons in the game even though they were being outplayed in the first half by a Chowan squad (5-21) which won only five games this season including one against the Lady Falcons earlier in the year.

“I think Autumn realizes that it’s win or go home,” St. Aug Head Coach Rachel Bullard said. “It’s over if we lose. So I think that she said, I’ll put you all on my back. She recognizes that we are young and this is our first time here, and it can be a scary place if it’s your first time playing here in this arena. So she put everyone on her back and said let’s roll and they did exactly that.”

The Lady Falcons needed Smith-Faulkner until they settled down. Smith-Faulkner, one of two seniors on the squad, got in foul trouble midway in the second half, but the Lady Falcons found their groove by then. Led by the fearless play of playmaking guard Porscha Walton (Fr./Chesterfield), who scored 12 of her 17 points in the second half, the Lady Falcons erased a seven-point halftime deficit (36-29) and outscored the Hawks down the stretch after the score was tied at 49 with over eight minutes left.

“I followed Autumn’s lead,” Walton said. “I’ll follow her any day. The rest of our team will, too.”

The Lady Falcons looked more like themselves in the second half, aggressively driving in the paint and forcing turnovers. Players were looking to either dish to the open shooter or make the extra pass inside once they drove the lane. Ebony Spencer (Jr./Chesapeake, Va.), Jasmine Cuffee (So./Norfolk, Va.), Jeanne-Marie Wilson (Fr./Temple Hills, Md.) and Lakiya Rouse (Fr./Greensboro, N.C.) all made nice passes to open teammates.

Coach Bullard also experimented with a different lineup, going with mostly guards on the floor in the second half to match up against the Hawks’ talented backcourt led by All-CIAA player Talaya Lynch. She and Janelle Murphy (both scored 13 points) tried to prevent the Lady Falcons’ onslaught in the second half, but the Lady Falcons were rolling at that point. The Lady Falcons outscored the Hawks 38-27 in the second half.

After Wilson and Smith-Faulkner combined to hit four free throws with less than one minute left to clinch the win, the Lady Falcons were giddy once the horn sounded. They laughed and posed for pictures, finally soaking in the moment after a tight contest. In the locker room afterwards, St. Aug President Dr. Dianne Boardley Suber praised the team for their comeback.
Rouse added nine points and added six rebounds while Wilson scored seven points for the Lady Falcons, who outshot the Hawks 52 percent to 34 percent in the second half. Danielle Coleman added 13 points for the Hawks. Walton, at 5-6, led the Lady Falcons with seven rebounds while Smith-Faulkner added six rebounds and two steals. Terri Jacobs (Fr./McDonough, Ga.), McCombs and Cuffee also added two steals each.

Elizabeth City State awaits the Lady Falcons in the quarterfinal round. The Lady Vikings are big and talented. In their only meeting this season, they defeated the Lady Falcons 70-57 in Elizabeth City, N.C. The Lady Falcons are entering the second matchup with momentum, however, thanks to their senior, Smith-Faulkner.

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCSU 79
JVU 43
 
Final
ECU 92
VULYNCH 51
 
Half
DUKE 7
UNC 28
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
CAR
Half
MIA 40
LAC 58
 
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
CHI
3rd
WVU 3
KST 20
 
Half
DUKE 7
UNC 28
 
9:30pm Tonight
TXST
ARKST
Final
AKR 66
USC 46
Final
UCONN 65
COC 57
Final
MIAMI 66
DREX 46
Final
BC 69
NMU 65
Final
CHAR 106
PSU 97
 
Final
MICH 71
DET 62
Final
WMARY 100
BFLD 57
 
Final
USCU 107
BOBJONES 41
 
Final
UCF 76
ECKERD 59
 
Final
PURD 82
GRAM 30
 
Final
NCSU 79
JVU 43
 
Final
RFLSH 102
KEYSTONE 69
 
Final
VCU 106
MDES 66
 
Final
PROV 88
NAVY 51
 
Final
BRY 72
UNH 63
 
Final
PETE 59
NIAG 61
 
Final
STET 96
PBAT 85
 
Final
WAGN 83
SUNYWEST 49
 
Final
IOWA 57
TEX 71
 
Final
TENN 70
TXSOU 58
 
Final
SHU 54
MLOWELL 57
 
Final
ECU 92
VULYNCH 51
 
Final
TENNM 115
CBC 29
 
2nd
MD 59
FORD 46
 
2nd
WVU 73
GMAS 49
 
2nd
RAD 36
HOW 34
 
2nd
MURST 60
BRESCIA 30
 
2nd
VILL 39
BUCK 35
 
2nd
TENST 37
FISK 35
 
2nd
HARV 53
FATL 33
 
2nd
MINN 77
FRANKPRCE 36
 
2nd
TULA 51
MVSU 30
 
2nd
TCU 60
NO 42
 
2nd
NW 44
UNF 38
 
2nd
LSUALEX 48
NWST 51
 
2nd
IND 40
SMU 43
 
2nd
UAB 40
SFLA 38
 
2nd
EILL 42
UCD 50
 
Half
SAV 26
WINT 28
 
Half
NIOWA 29
MRGST 30
 
1st
MISS 28
SOUTH 15
 
Half
SCAR 35
CORN 21
 
1st
VANDY 13
LIP 6
 
1st
ARST 15
LMU 10
 
1st
ALA 22
SMISS 17
 
1st
GRCN 7
TXARL 9
 
9:35pm Tonight
NILL
IDAHO
9:35pm Tonight
CAL
SYR
10:00pm Tonight
GAELS
DEN
10:00pm Tonight
NARZ
FRES
10:00pm Tonight
PAC
PACU
 
10:30pm Tonight
SDST
CALST
11:00pm Tonight
UCLA
NICST
 
2nd
PHI 0
MIN 1
 
2nd Intermission
OTT 3
NAS 1
 
2nd Intermission
MON 2
STL 1
 
2nd Intermission
TOR 4
TAM 1
 
2nd
WIN 2
DET 1
 
1st Intermission
DAL 0
ARI 1
 
1st
CAL 0
CHI 2
 
1st
COL 0
WAS 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
ANA
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
CAR
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
FLA
2nd
OAK 14
KAN 0