The brackets are out and the men’s basketball MEAC Tournament began Monday for Todd Bozeman and the Morgan State University Bears.
The team ended the regular season 11-18 overall and 7-9 in conference play. Morgan had a home record of 8-2, but didn’t do well on the road, winning only three of their 15 away games.
Last year, the Bears didn’t make it past the first round at the Norfolk Scope Arena; they fell short to Howard University in a 68-65 loss. Their first opponent this year was the South Carolina State University (SCSU) Bulldogs, who went 10-21 overall this season and 6-10 in conference play.
SCSU met Morgan at the Hill Field House back in January and out-played the Bears in every aspect. The Bulldogs shot 47.7 percent from the field, while Morgan shot 32.8 percent.
The Bears fell behind in rebounds (42-41), assists (15-11), and points from turnovers (19-13). This was Morgan’s first home loss of the season and SCSU’s first win over the Bears at Hill Field House since 2009.
Given that the Bears have increased their field goal percentage to 40 percent or higher over the last seven games of the regular season, except for their forfeited loss against Hampton University. They proved to be worthy opponents of top conference teams like Bethune-Cookman University (No.2 seed) and Savannah State University (No.3 seed).
In the second round of the tournament, Morgan faced the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. Although the Bears played a close game to the Wildcats, they couldn’t pull in a home win against them in February, losing in a 96-95 overtime win.
Morgan shot 50 percent from behind the arc and 78 percent from the free-throw line. Senior guard, Tiwian Kendley also had a career high of 41 points against the Wildcats. With better percentages from the three-point and free-throw lines, and an explosive performance from their leading scorer, the Bears still didn’t have enough to beat Bethune-Cookman.
The Wildcats had an away record of 8-10 this season, that’s almost a 30 percent deficit from Morgan’s 3-15 away record.
The Bears played one neutral site game earlier this year but lost terribly to Grand Canyon University by 26 points.
Morgan won’t make it be semi-finalists contestants this year down at the Norfolk Scope Arena in Virginia.