Morgan faces NC Central Saturday night with MEAC Title, Tournament berth at stake

March 15, 2014 | WNST Staff

Game #31 - MEAC Tournament Finals
Date: Saturday, March 15, 2014
Opponent: No. 1 North Carolina Central Eagles (27-5)
Site: The Scope Arena, Norfolk, Va.
Game Time: 6 p.m.
Television: ESPNU
Record:  MSU 15-15 (11-5 MEAC)
MSU Coach: Todd Bozeman (143-115 – 8th yr)
Series History: NCCU leads series, 44-40
Last Meeting: NCCU 53, MSU 52 on Jan. 27, 2014 in Durham, N.C.

BALTIMORE, Md. – Scoring its fourth win in five games, No. 3 seed Morgan State (15-15) advanced to the championship of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament for the sixth time in eight seasons after taking down No. 7 seed Coppin State, 79-64, last night. The win marked the third time this season the Bears have downed the crosstown rival Eagles. The Bears tip-off against No. 1 seed North Carolina Central (27-5) at 6 p.m. and will be attempting clinch its fourth MEAC Championship title and clinch its third trip to the NCAA Tournament.

The Bears have had unprecedented success in the MEAC Tournament under head coach Todd Bozeman. The Bears have participated in six of the last eight MEAC Tournament championships, captured back-to-back MEAC Titles, and made appearances in the NIT and two NCAA Tournaments.

FOLLOW ALONG WITH LIVE STATS 
Live stats of all games will be available on the conference’s official website, www.MEAChoops .com. The preliminary games will also be streamed live on MEACsports.com.

IT’S OK TO BE A FOLLOWER 
MSU men’s basketball fans can follow their favorite team, or any of the other MSU athletics programs on Twitter through the handle @MorganStBears.

MEAC TOURNAMENT FACTS
• Morgan State has won three MEAC Tournaments (1977, 2009 & 2010) and will be making its sixth championship appearance under Coach Bozeman.

• Morgan State has advanced to the MEAC Semifinals seven times in the last eight seasons.

• Todd Bozeman has led Morgan State to 17 of the school’s 32 MEAC Tournament wins.

• Morgan State coach Todd Bozeman was the 2009 and 2010 Outstanding Coach of the MEAC Tournament.

• Morgan State has had four MVP’s of the MEAC Tournament: Marvin ‘The Human Eraser” Webster (1975); Eric “The Pencil” Evans (1977); Reggie Holmes (2009); and Kevin Thompson (2010).

• Legendary Morgan State center Marvin Webster averaged 21.3 rebounds per game during the 1975 MEAC Tournament.

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SCOUTING NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL
N.C. Central, 27-5 overall, finished 15-1 in the MEAC and earned the number one seed. The Eagles, who rank No. 18 in the Mid-Major Top 25 Poll, advanced to the championship as a result of rolling No. 8 seed Howard, 92-46, in the quarterfinals round of the MEAC, followed by a 68-45 blowout against No. 4 seed Norfolk State Friday night in the semifinals. N.C. Central is on a 19-game winning streak and will attempt to make it 20 when they enter tonight’s matchup with No. 3 seed Morgan State. The Eagles are vying for its first MEAC Tournament Championship and its first trip to the NCAA Tournament.

WE MEET AGAIN
The Morgan State Bears will square off against the Eagles for the 87th meeting between the two. N.C. Central holds a 46-40 advantage, and has gone 2-1 against the Bears since rejoining the MEAC.

THE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Senior guard Jeremy Ingram, an All-MEAC First Team selection, has fueled N.C. Central by averaging  at 20.3 ppg this season, while junior Jordan Parks has added 10.3 ppg and standout senior point guard Emanuel Chapman has contributed 6.8 ppg, 6.5 apg and 2.1 spg. The Eagles are led on the glass by redshirt-junior Jay Copeland (5.9 rpg). Senior Justin Black enters tonight’s contest averaging 19.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.8 apg while senior Ian Chiles is averaging 15.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg and 3.1 bpg, and senior Anthony Hubbard has added 10.8 ppg and 6.9 rpg.

THE ONLY MEETING THIS SEASON WAS AT N.C. CENTRAL, JAN. 27, 2014
DURHAM, N.C. – Jeremy Ingram posted a game-high 20 points, Maramu Jawara added 13 for N. C. Central. It all added up to the Eagles erasing a 13-point deficit to hold on and beat Morgan State 53-52 at McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium. Justin Black finished with 17 points for the Bears who came up short down the stretch for the second game in a row, having lost to N.C. A&T 68-67 in overtime.

The Bears tied the game at 52-52 when Donte Pretlow hit a jumper with 33 seconds to go. The Eagles came out of the timeout and worked the clock down before taking a shot that missed badly as the horn sounded. But the game was not over.

Morgan’s Shaquille Duncan was called for a foul against Karamo Jawara on a loose ball rebound. The officials adjusted the clock to display 1 second remaining in the game. Jawara stepped up and hit the first free throw, and missed the second on purpose. The Bears had .4 seconds left on the clock, but Thair Heath‘s inbounds pass sailed past Chiles as time expired.

NEXT UP: If Morgan State wins, they will earn an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. It would mark the Bears third appearance in the “Big Dance” in the last eight seasons.

BLACK A MEMBER OF THE 1,000 POINTS CLUB 
Senior guard Justin Black eclipsed the 1,000 point mark for his career as a result of his 24-point outing against Cal State Northridge (12/27) … Black recently moved in front of Jason McCoy (1,292 pts – 1987-91) as the school’s No. 13 leading scorer and following his career-high 29 points outing against No. 6 seed Florida A&M he currently has 1,350 career points.

WELCOME TO THE CLUB MR. CHILES
Senior center Ian Chiles scored 18 points in the semifinals and moved up to No. 21 on Morgan State’s all-time scoring list with 1,028 career points. He is only 8 points shy of becoming the school’s No. 20 leading scorer held currently by James Turk (1,035 pts / 1961-63).

VETERANS HUNGRY FOR THE ‘SHIP 
Seniors Justin Black and Ian Chiles have advanced to the third MEAC Championship game of their career. The standout duo were members of the Bears squad that was defeated by Hampton (60-55) in 2011 MEAC championship game, and they fell short again when North Carolina A&T (57-54) captured the title in 2013.

WELCOME TO MY BLOCK PARTY
Ian Chiles has been making the most of his 7-foot-2 frame. The senior recorded a career-high 9 blocked shots against Norfolk State on Feb. 8. He completed the regular season ranked No. 3 in the MEAC (3.0 bpg). He posted six blocks in the MEAC semifinals and currently has 92 blocks for the season, and 191 for his career.

THE ALMOST-TRIPLE-DOUBLE
Despite the loss against Norfolk State (Feb. 8), Ian Chiles had a strong effort and came close to finishing with the oh so rare — triple-double. “Big Slew” completed the night with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting, grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and notched a career-high nine blocked shots … one rejection short a triple-double.

ANOTHER ALMOST-TRIPLE-DOUBLE
In the MEAC semifinals win against No. 7 seed Coppin State, Anthony Hubbard nearly finished with a triple double. The senior small forward seemed to be everywhere on the floor. He finished with 12 points to go along with nine rebounds and dished out a career-high nine assists in 31 minutes of work.

POSTSEASON HONOR ROLL
Two Bears landed postseason honors from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in 2013-14. Seniors Justin Black and Ian Chiles were named to the All-MEAC first-team. With Black and Chiles receiving first team accolades, Morgan State has now registered at least one member on the All-MEAC first team in six of the last eight years under head coach Todd Bozeman.  In fact, this marks the third time under Bozeman that the Bears have had two players as first team selections.  The duo has also been named to the NABC First Team All-District team and College Hoops Daily All-MEAC First Team.

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