FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – The Lander men's basketball team overcame a shaky start on the road to beat Fayetteville State 80-63 on Monday night. Rahu Purdie had 22 points and Sidney Robinson added a career-high 18 as the Bearcats pulled away from the Broncos in the second half.
Lander (4-4) outscored the Broncos 45-33 in the final 20 minutes, the Bearcats' highest-scoring second half of the year. Fayetteville State's (3-6) 33 points marked the fewest allowed by the Bearcat defense in the second half all season.
The Broncos took an early 6-0 lead and kept the Bearcats behind for the majority of the first half. Lander took its first lead, 29-28, on a Nicklas Jonsson layup with 3:04 to go before intermission. The Jonsson bucket came in the middle of a 12-2 run gave the Bearcats a 35-30 lead at the break.
Fayetteville State never pulled closer than five in the second half as the Bearcats extended their lead to as many as 20 points late in the game. Lander outrebounded the Broncos 35-25 and shot 53.6 percent from the field.
The Bearcats earned their first victory in the state of North Carolina in nearly two years and pulled back to .500 on the season for the first time in two weeks.
Fayetteville State led 8-2 less than three minutes into the first half, led by six points from Josh Bryant. The Broncos led by as many as eight in the first half before a late Lander spurt to close out the half put the Bearcats ahead for good.