Bears defeat Norfolk State Spartans 77-71

The Bears are now tied for first place in the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference, with University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Howard University.


Edwin Moore

Morgan State University’s Hill Field House.

Lake Marion, Staff Writer

The Morgan State Bears (11-9) hung on to defeat the Norfolk State University Spartans (13-7) 77-71 at Hill Field House Monday evening.

After getting routed on the road by Howard on Saturday, Morgan looked to bounce back against their MEAC rivals at home, the place where the team is undefeated so far this season.

The Bears’ leading scorer was guard Will Thomas, finishing the game with 27 points, 11 rebound double-double along with guard Isiah Burke who finished with 21 points, three rebounds and four assists.

Thomas shot 50 percent (11-22) from the field and 50 percent (3-6) from the three-point line while Burke shot 38 percent (7-18) from the field and 45 percent (5-11) from the beyond the arc.

The Bears went 13-18 (73 percent) from the free-throw line and shot 26-58 (45 percent) from the field.

The Bears got hot early, making 31 percent (4-13) of their threes compared to the Spartans who did not make any threes on five attempts.

Morgan played a slow and conservative game in the second half. The Bears let their foot of the gas in the second half after leading the Spartans by 12 points before halftime.

In the first half, it seemed as if the Bears were going to blow out the Spartans after going up 23-6 with 12:55 left in the first half.

The Spartans sparked a comeback. They brought it within two points nine minutes into the second half with dunks and scoring 15 second chance points.

The Spartans also outrebounded the Bears 46-30 causing them to keep the game close. The Spartans also outscored the Bears in the paint 40-16.

The Bears struggled with fouls throughout the game. The Bears had 29 fouls compared to the Spartans who only had 18 fouls.

Guard Lewis Djonkam fouled out late in the second half and had a few players in foul trouble as well.

However, the Bears never lost the lead after the Spartans were down 50-48 and outscored them 27-23 during the final 11 minutes of the second half.
The Bears were missing Malik Miller who suffered an injury in their game against Howard on Saturday.

Miller has started 19 games this season and is averaging 17.5 points per game, showing that he has been one of the Bears efficient scorers.

The Bears defensively stood its ground against a scrappy Spartans offense that fought back from a 17-point deficit.

For the Bears to stay consistent, they must limit the fouls, turnovers, and not allow teams to beat them in the paint. The Bears were fortunate that the Spartans did not make a single three-pointer in the game.

With the win, the Bears remain undefeated at home, improving to 8-0 at Hill Field House this season.

Morgan will go back on the road to take on Delaware State at 4 p.m. on Saturday seeking to win two games straight.