Bowie State's Bulldogs regrouped from an early deficit and then used their Baltimore connection to outplay Morgan State at Hill Field House last night for an 89-77 victory.
Junior Warren Wright (Northwestern) and senior Brian Brooks (Southwestern) combined for 50 points to lead the Division II Bulldogs (2-2) to what coach Tyrone Hart called "one of the biggest wins since I've been at Bowie State."
After a wild first half that ended with Bowie ahead 46-43, the
teams traded the lead seven times through the first 15 minutes of the second half.
When Brooks fouled out with 7:22 to play and Bowie ahead 64-63, the Bulldogs refused to wilt under the late-game pressure.
Wright jammed nine of his 26 points into the final five minutes, as Bowie's defensive pressure continued to harass Morgan (0-2) and the Bowie lead reached as high as 13.
"We don't have big-time players," said Hart, "but we have the Baltimore connection [eight players from the Baltimore area] and they came in here and played an excellent game.
"I think we might have caught Morgan looking ahead, but this is a great win for us against a proven MEAC team."
The game was delayed after Bowie had opened a 76-67 lead with 3:03 remaining, when the large Bowie contingent in the crowd and the Morgan State fans spilled onto the court. But order was restored quickly and the Bulldogs completed the upset victory.
The Bears opened the game quickly with senior guard Chico Langston scoring eight of their first 10 points for a 10-2 Morgan lead in just over three minutes.
That lead increased to 21-9 when Langston fed James Thomas for a layup with 11 minutes left in the first half.
But the Bulldogs, who had missed 10 of their first 12 field-goal attempts, showed their tenacity. One Bowie spurt on the offensive boards resulted in eight straight rebounds before Ron Rudisill (Mervo) finally made a layup.
That effort seemed to spark the Bulldogs and with Brooks and Wright taking control of the offense, Bowie had its first lead, 34-33, with 5:22 left in the half. In the run to the lead, Brooks made four three-pointers on his way to 19 first-half points, and Wright came off the bench to score 14 before halftime.
Morgan managed to tie the game at 36 less than a minute later on a free throw by Chris McCarthy, but Brooks and Wright ran off the next six points to make Bowie's lead three at the half. The quick Bowie defense caused 14 first-half turnovers by the Bears, and the undersized Bulldogs held a 23-20 edge on the boards.
BOWIE STATE -- Brooks 9-14 4-5 24, Purnell 3-8 0-0 6, Johnson 3-5 3-4 9, Rudisill 3-7 0-0 6, Muhammad 0-3 1-2 1, Burgin 4-11 5-7 13, Marvin 1-11 1-2 4, Wright 6-12 14 -24 26. Totals 29-72 26-42 89.
MORGAN STATE -- Langston 5-9 7-8 18, Zellous 2-7 2-2 7, Jordan 7-16 2-2 16, Sellers 4- 9 1-2 11, Deas 3-6 0-0 6, McCarthy 2-4 1-2 4, Thomas 1-2 0-0 2, Battle 2-8 2-2 6, Smith 2-2 2-6 6. Totals 28-63 17-24 77.
Halftime -- Bowie 46-43. 3-point goals -- Bowie State 5-9 (Brooks 4-5, Mrvin 1-2); Morgan State 4-19 (Langston 1-3, Zellous 1-6, Sellers 2-6). Rebounds -- Bowie State 48 (Marvin 8); Morgan State 44 (Jordan 10). Assists -- Bowie State 10 (Wright 4); Morgan State 17 (Langston 7). Total fouls -- Bowie State 25; Morgan State 30. Fouled out -- Brooks, Langston. A -- 2,576.