Fayetteville entered Thursday's contest with a stellar 10-1 record, but proved to be no match for the Tigers. Lewisburg took the wind out of FMS' sails early and built a 40-9 lead in the first half before opening up a 57-16 advantage at the end of the third quarter en route to claiming the 38-point victory.
"I was a bit surprised that we won by that much," said LMS coach David Lovell. "Our guys were a little disappointed with their performance against E.A. Cox the other night. With this being our first home game, I think they wanted to come out and play good basketball tonight."
Bolstered by a 16-of-28 shooting performance in the first half, the Tigers shot 48 percent from the field overall and committed just 10 turnovers.
Fayetteville was overwhelmed by Lewisburg's superior quickness and mustered just nine baskets on 25 percent shooting while the Tigers recorded 21 steals and forced 29 FMS turnovers.
"Our pressure on the ball and in the passing lanes is making it tough for teams to get the ball inside and get a good shot," said Lovell. "I think Fayetteville went into shock because of our defensive pressure and our ability to convert their turnovers into baskets quickly. They were not ready for our team speed."
Forward Jay Howard led LMS' offensive attack by pouring in 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting, highlighted by a breakaway dunk in the first quarter, to go along with seven rebounds, four steals, and three blocked shots.
"It finally clicked tonight for Jay offensively and defensively. When Jay has a challenge, that's when he plays his best," said Lovell.
Tre Crutcher followed Howard with 10 points, while Caleb Fields and Dayveonte Brown each tallied nine points with Fields registering seven steals. D'Andre Brown also added seven points, four assists, and three steals, and J.Q. Haislip had four points. Keevon Maxwell and Tre Fields chipped in three and two points respectively for the Tigers as well.
Center Cain McWilliams paced FMS with nine points, while Akoyai Dyer notched six points. Worth Watson, Mikeal Buchanan, and Zorian Pullen rounded out the scoring for Fayetteville with three, two, and one point respectively.
FMS actually grabbed a 2-0 lead on a layup by McWilliams, but Lewisburg immediately brought down the hammer and put together a 26-2 run behind eight points from Howard and six points apiece from Crutcher and D'Andre Brown to forge a 26-4 advantage early in the second quarter.
After Watson hit a trey to trim the deficit to 26-7, the Tigers closed the first half with a 14-2 spurt behind four points each from Howard, Dayveonte Brown, and Haislip to push their lead to 40-9 at the break.
Lewisburg continued to rapidly pull away from Fayetteville in the third quarter and outscored FMS 17-7 in the stanza with the help of four points from Crutcher, a Howard three-point play, and a pair of treys from Dayveonte Brown and Maxwell to open up a 57-16 cushion.
In the fourth period, Fayetteville tallied five of the game's last seven points for the 59-21 final.