Five takeaways from Morgan’s 85-74 win over Norfolk State

Morgan defeated top-seeded Norfolk State Monday night.


Edwin Moore

With three conference games remaining in their season, the Bears have a chance to improve their seeding in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Tournament in March.

Tariq Turner, Sports Editor

After narrowly losing to Howard on Saturday, Morgan State’s men’s basketball team (9-13, 4-6) rebounded by defeating top-seeded Norfolk State 85-74 (18-6, 9-2) Monday night in Hill Field House.

In the first half, Morgan struggled to contain Norfolk senior guard Joe Bryant as he scored 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting.

He did not miss a shot from inside of the arc until there was 32 seconds left in the first half.

Trailing 44-36 at halftime, Morgan went on a 18-9 run in the first 8:19 seconds of the second half.

With 10:33 seconds remaining in the game, Morgan junior guard De’Torrion Ware nailed a 3-pointer to tie the game at 57. 

The Bears ultimately outscored Norfolk 49-30 in the second half and improved their conference record to 4-6.

Bryant was held to seven points on 3-for-9 shooting in the second half.

Ware finished the game with 15 points, five rebounds, and five assists. 

Here are the top five takeaways from the game. 

Morgan executed well on defense in the second half

The Bears limited Norfolk to 35.7 percent shooting on 28 shots and 15.4 percent shooting from behind the arc on 13 shots in the second half. 

Norfolk also had seven turnovers in the half compared to Morgan’s just one. 

Morgan scored 15 points off turnovers in the game. 

Bears’ senior guard Isaiah Burke had one steal in the game, but helped force more turnovers.

Morgan scored eight fast break points in the game including senior guard Malik Miller’s layup with 41 seconds left that put his team ahead 79-71.

Morgan’s bench outperformed Norfolk’s

Norfolk’s trio of Bryant, Jalen Hawkins, and Kris Bankston combined for 50 points. 

Outside of those three, the Spartans struggled to score and their bench only scored nine points.

Morgan’s bench outscored Norfolk’s by 33 points. 

Graduate forward Lagio Grantsaan came off the bench and scored a team-high 17 points and had a team-high eight rebounds.

Grantsaan and Ware scored 32 of their team’s bench points.

The Bears shot much better from the field compared to their last game

Against Howard, Morgan shot 23-for-62 from the field and 1-for-12 from behind the arc.

On Monday, they made 33 of 63 field goal attempts and shot 5-for-9 from 3-point distance. 

In the second half against Norfolk, the Bears shot 50 percent from the field on 32 attempts. 

Morgan senior guard Sherwyn Devonish controlled his team’s pace on both sides of the ball

Devonish, who averages 6.7 points per game, scored 11 points on 5-for-12 shooting against Norfolk. 

He also dished nine dimes compared to just one turnover and initiated many of his team’s fast break opportunities. 

He had just four fewer assists than Norfolk’s entire team did. 

Devonish also had a block and a steal.

The Bears showed that they can compete with the top teams in their conference despite their record

The Spartans’ loss to Morgan was their second conference loss of the season. 

They had not lost a conference game since Jan. 31 when they fell 70-67 to North Carolina Central.

Despite their 4-6 conference record, two of Morgan’s conference losses were decided by just one possession. 

They lost 79-76 to Coppin State on Jan. 15 and 68-66 to Howard on Feb. 19. 

With three conference games remaining in their season, the Bears have a chance to improve their seeding in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Tournament in March.