Fairmont State men's basketball fires on all cylinders past Salem

Nov. 13—FAIRMONT — After a 31-point win in their season opener, the Fairmont State Falcons stayed hot in their second game in as many days, beating the Salem University Tigers 94-67 Saturday at Joe Retton Arena.

The Falcons shot above 50% from the field for their second straight game, got 24 points from three-time MEC-first teamer Isaiah Sanders, and 40 points from their bench.

Fairmont State's defensive pressure and active hands were on full display early on. The Falcons' full-court press was responsible for two travel calls in the first 12 minutes, while the Tigers coughed up eight total turnovers in that time.

Salem tightened things up from there and ended the game with 17 turnovers, fewer than Fairmont's 18 in the game, but the quick punches thrown by the Falcons in the game's early stages had the Tigers on the ropes from the onset.

Defensive effort has been key to the Falcons' impeccable start, Fairmont head coach Tim Koenig said.

"We're playing really hard on defense," Koenig said. "You try not to take any plays off, execute there, and rebound to the best of our ability. We're very pleased with that, execution on offense, we definitely have room for growth."

While their defense was moderating the opposing attack, Fairmont's own offense came out hot. Four three-pointers in those crucial opening 12 minutes helped Fairmont State build a 32-17 lead after a Parris Briggs three-pointer at the 8:45 mark.

From there, the Fairmont lead never never shrank below 12, though it grew to as much as 29 at points throughout Saturday.

Briggs finished with 11 points off the bench, shooting 3-5 from behind the arc. Briggs was one of seven Falcons to score at least eight points against Salem.

Three of those seven scorers came off the bench Saturday — Briggs with 11, David Jolinder with nine, and senior transfer Tariq Woody with 12, the second-highest mark on the Falcons against Salem.

Listed at 6'8" and 270 pounds, Woody was near-automatic scoring from the inside, finishing the day 6-7 and grabbing four rebounds in 20 minutes of action.

Alongside returning starter center Seth Younkin, the duo ensures the Falcons can always have size in the game if they choose.

"We haven't really had multiple big guys," Koenig said. "We've played with one, we've never had more than one. So it gives us some flexibility and makes us able to play different types of lineups."

Behind Sanders' 24 and Woody's 12, Briggs and Fonz Hale each chipped in 11, the point guard Hale also tying for the team-high in assists with four.

George Mangas scored nine points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished four assists. Jolinder matched Mangas' point total while also recording two blocks and three steals. Zyon Dobbs totaled eight points and four assists.

Tommy Williams and Tyler Ganley each scored three. Younkin finished with two points, seven rebounds and a block. Adam Deininger rounded things out with two points.

As a team, Fairmont State shot 38-73 (52.1%) from the field and 13-31 (41.9%) from three. Salem was held to just 20-60 (33.3%) from the field, led in scoring by Stan Smith with 14.

Fairmont State will look to keep the decisive wins coming after a week-long break, back in action Nov. 19 against Davis & Elkins.

Reach Nick Henthorn at 304-367-2548, on Twitter @nfhenthorn_135 or by email at nhenthorn@timeswv.com.