A look back on the 2022-23 basketball season

Review this year’s ups and downs of the men’s and women’s basketball seasons.


Edwin Moore

Morgan State University’s Hill Field House.

Alex Ederson, Staff Writer

The 2022-2023 Morgan State men and women’s basketball teams had what can only be described as a season of highs and lows. 

Injuries derailed the Bears’ season towards the end of the year, and the Lady Bears dealt with a COVID outbreak prior to a six-game road trip.

They both were picked to finish fourth in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) preseason rankings, and each had at least one player selected to preseason All-Conference teams.  

The Bears had senior guard Malik Miller selected to the All-MEAC preseason second team while the Lady Bears had senior guard Ja’Niah Henson selected to the All-MEAC preseason second team, and graduate students Taylor Addison and Charlene Shepard, both forwards, selected to the All-MEAC preseason third team.


The season had a rough start for the Bears as they opened up with a 73-96 loss at Xavier, a team that finished as runners up in the Big East and would eventually make it to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

The Bears went 4-6 in their opening 10 games and were unable to find any sort of considerable rhythm. This opening run included a 130–49 win over Penn State Greater Allegheny and a 123-59 dismantling of Virginia University of Lynchburg.

The Bears started the season on a seven game road losing streak, which eventually came to an end with a 61-54 win over University of Hartford. This victory spurned a six-game winning streak including three early MEAC wins over North Carolina Central, South Carolina State, and Coppin State.

Leading the Bears through this period of consistency were senior guards Isaiah Burke (18.7 points per game, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 steals) and Malik Miller (17.5 points per game, 9.8 assists, and 2.1 steals.)

They formed one of the most entertaining duos in the MEAC and some considered Miller on pace for MEAC Player of the Year. He tore his ACL in the Jan. 21 56-88 loss to Howard and the Bears were unable to continue the momentum they generated up to that point.


Prior to losing Miller, the Bears were tied for first place in the MEAC, but it was up to Burke to carry the load in scoring. However no one was able to replicate the nearly 10 rebounds that Miller produced.

The Bears would go 5-7 in their last 12 games including a 64-80 loss in the quarter-finals of the MEAC Tournament to University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Burke was voted into the All-MEAC First Team and freshman guard Rob Lawson (5.3 points per game, 29 games played) was elected to the MEAC All-Rookie Team.

The Bears finished the season going 15-16 and fifth overall in the MEAC, including a 10-2 record at home, a 3-12 record on the road and 2-2 at neutral sites.

The Bears had an inconsistent season, and they will return roughly half of the roster for next year including three starters; Kamron Hobbs, Will Thomas, and Khalil Turner.

Gabrielle Johnson in Morgan State vs. Coppin State game at Hill Field House, March 2, 2023. (Jordan D. Brown)

The Lady Bears, however, started their season off on a hot run going 7-2 in their first nine games including a six-game win streak to open the season. The Lady Bears would not lose their first games until they dropped two in a row at the Puerto Rico Clasico.

After this trip, the Lady Bears had a COVID outbreak within the team, causing games at Texas A&M and Marquette to be canceled.

The women’s team was in a run of form that had them looking like contenders for the MEAC regular season title, but after the nearly two week hiatus from playing competitive basketball the Lady Bears lost four in a row including a 56 point blowout to the University of Virginia.

The Lady Bears found their groove again, led by the duo of guard Ja’Niah Henson (14 points per game, 1.9 steals, 30.3 percent from three) and forward Charlene Shepherd (15.2 points per game, 6.9 rebounds, 2.1 steals) going on a nine-game win streak.

Their good fortunes did not last forever as they went on to lose four of their last five MEAC games. The Lady Bears were still able to finish second in the MEAC regular season rankings and played University of Maryland Eastern Shore in the quarterfinals of the MEAC Tournament.

The Lady Bears lost a hard-fought matchup to the seventh seed, but were given an invite to the Women’s National Invitational Tournament or WNIT. This was due to a tiebreaker in WNIT invites as the Lady Bears earned the automatic bid over the Lady Bisons.

The Lady Bears played Wake Forest on March 16, losing 49-75 and ending their season with something to carry into the next season. This marked the Lady Bears first WNIT invite since 2011 and second of all time.

Senior guard Henson, and graduate student forward Shepherd were elected to the All-MEAC First Team and graduate student forward Taylor Addison (6.3 points per game, 7.3 rebounds, 1.5 steals) was elected to the All-MEAC Third Team. The Lady Bears had joint most All-MEAC selections, tied for three with Howard and Norfolk State. 

Freshman guard Gabrielle Johnson (5.4 points per game, 29 games played) was voted into the All-Rookie Team and Addison and Shepherd were voted into the All-Defensive Team.

The Lady Bears finished the season 17-12 and second overall in the MEAC, including a 11-2 record at home, a 6-7 record on the road and 0-3 at neutral sites.

The Morgan men and women’s basketball program each dealt with their fair share of difficulties but still made the most of their respective seasons and will now look to strengthen their incoming recruiting classes as they get ready for next year.