Journey to the Tourney

The MSU Spokesman

footer_morgan_bearsRolling full speed ahead, the Bears took charge over the Florida A&M University Rattlers in Hill Field House on March 7. The Bears controlled the entire first half, leading by as much as 20 points.

The Bears shot 50 percent from both the field and the free throw line. Center Ian Chiles and forward DeWayne Jackson led the Bears in scoring with 10 points apiece. Forward Shaquille Duncan, shooting guard/small forwards Anthony Hubbard and Justin Black, as well as point guard Blake Bozeman collectively contributed to the Bears’ dominance with a sum of 18 points.

Going into the half with a score of 41-30, the Rattlers did manage to cut the Bears’ lead to eleven. “The defense has really stepped up. Even though they’re being out rebounded, the Bears are playing some good basketball,” said Heritage Sports Radio Network commentator Jim Hellman. “They look unstoppable.”

Out of the gates at the very beginning of the second half, Chiles shot and sank a beautiful 15 footer from the right wing of the court. Extending their lead to 54-38, the Bears turned up the heat defensively by applying pressure to the entire length of the court. This strategic plan apparently drove the Rattlers insane. The Bears capitalized on the momentum, leading to four turnovers in the course of two minutes and again extending their lead to 20 points.

As time passed, the Rattlers fought hard and brought the game back within reach. With 4:46 left and only a deficit of seven points, the Bears shifted into overdrive to secure the win. The Bears responded to the Rattlers’ sudden surge with a baseline inbound alley-oop from Black to Jackson which lead to a monstrous slam dunk. Out of desperation the Rattlers began to foul, but by doing so, further sealed their fate.

With a 78-67 win over the Florida A&M Rattlers, the Bears look forward to keeping up this intensely high level of play in the upcoming week at the MEAC tournament. After being asked what his predictions are for the tournament, forward DeWayne Jackson said, “It’s my last year, we gotta win it all.”

The Bears enter the tournament as the No. 5 seed and will play No. 12 seed South Carolina State University tonight at 9 p.m. at Norfolk Scope Arena.