CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The hard-charging style of the West Virginia State University men's basketball team couldn't keep up with the smallest player on the court.
Fortunately for the Yellow Jackets, their 3-point shooting was good enough to avoid losing for the eighth time in their last 10 games.
Despite a 44-point performance by Notre Dame College 5-foot-7 sophomore Tyree Gaiter, State survived with a late steal and basket to earn a 101-99 Mountain East Conference victory over Notre Dame (10-15, 8-11 MEC).
The win, which followed a five-point win over non-conference foe Davis & Elkins on Monday, left State coach Bryan Poore with a feeling his team was coming around, but still isn't quite there.
"We did have a little flow going there," said Poore, whose team hit 16-of-28 3-pointers, including a career-best 5-of-8 from guard Demetrios Jelen-Joy. "We still don't have our total confidence. When things started to get tight there we started to play tentative and start attacking and playing with confidence.
"We're still working lineups, which it's really late to be doing that, but we're finding it."
The Falcons were in position for the game-winning basket, inbounding the ball at State's end in a tie game with 14.7 seconds left. However, Juan Johnson stole the ball on the inbounds pass and dished it inside to Bo King to give State a 101-99 lead.
Notre Dame had one last chance for the tie or win, but a mid-range jump shot by Geovonte Rose came off the rim and into the hands of State's Anton Hutchins as the buzzer sounded, giving the Yellow Jackets (10-13, 6-13) their fourth two-game winning streak of the season.
Gaiter was already 17-of-23 from the floor, but had to come out of the game just seconds earlier when he fell to the floor and got cut on the eye. Until the team's trainers could stop the bleeding, he sat out.
"I just let the flow of the game come to me," Gaiter said. "My teammates gave me open looks."