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Morgan opens West Coast swing Friday at Cal-State Northridge

Posted on 26 December 2013 by WNST Staff

Friday, Dec. 27, 2013
Opponent: Cal-Northridge (7-5, 0-0 Big West)
Site: The Matadome, Northridge, Calif.
Game Time: 7:05 p.m. (ET)
Radio: n/a
MSU Coach: Todd Bozeman (131-107 – 8th yr)

BALTIMORE, Md. —  Morgan State (3-7) continues the 2013-14 campaign at California-Northridge (7-5) on Friday for the first of a three-game west coast swing. The trip will include matchups with Oregon (Dec. 29) and California-Irvine (Jan. 2). The Bears will enter the contest attempting to build upon its 85-74 non-conference win last week against High Point. Friday night’s contest will mark the first basketball meeting between the teams.

SCOUTING THE MATADORS
The Matadors welcomed back six veterans, including five starters, from a squad that posted a 14-17 overall record and went 5-13 in the Big West. Stephen Hicks leads the Matadors by averaging 18.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg and is shooting 56 percent (78-140) from the field.  Stephen Maxwell leads the Matadors on the boards (8.4 rpg) and in blocks and also averages 16.2 ppg. Senior guard Josh Greene is also averaging double figures (13.8 ppg) and leads the team averaging 2.1 assists per contest. Reggie Theus (California Coast ’02) enters his first season as Cal-Northridge’s head men’s basketball coach. Stephan Hicks scored 20 points while Josh Greene added 17 points and Stephen Maxwell collected 15 points to lead CSUN to a 79-69 win Saturday night against the Idaho Vandals. The Matadors collected a season-high 47 rebounds (compared to 33 for the opposition) and posted its fourth win in the last five outings.

MSU’S LAST TIME OUT
Dec. 18, 2013 – Justin Black scored 23 points to lead five Morgan State players in double figures as the Bears defeated High Point 85-74 on Wednesday night at Hill Field House. The Bears (3-7), led 43-36 at halftime and used a 13-2 run midway through the second half to help extend to their largest lead of 17 points, 72-55, with 9:22 left. The Panthers wouldn’t get closer than nine after that.
Black finished the game shooting 8-for-18 from the field and including a game-high six steals to go with three rebounds. Ian Chiles added 18 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots. The Bears (3-7) hit 29 of 57 shots for 50.9 percent, outscoring the Panthers 46-18 in the paint. The Bears also collected 11 steals, six by Black, and scored 23 points off 19 High Point turnovers. Anthony Hubbard added 13 points and eight boards, while Blake Bozeman added 12 points and Shaquille Duncan had 10.

BEARS GO 1-2 AT PARADISE JAM
Morgan State particiapted in the 2013 Ezybonds Global Payments U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam. The Bears fell to La Salle in the first round of the by a 78-59 margin (11/22), followed by a 75-66 loss against Vanderbilt (11/23). MSU wrapped up the tournament by posting a 74-67 victory against Marist (11/25) to finish in 7th place.

MORGAN STATE TABBED SECOND IN PRESEASON POLL
Morgan State was picked to finish second in the 2013-14 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference men’s basketball preseason poll behind defending regular season champion Norfolk State.

BLACK, CHILES AND HUBBARD EARN PRESEASON HONORS
Morgan State senior Justin Black was selected to the Preseason All-MEAC First Team by the conference head coaches and sports information directors. Redshirt-senior center Ian Chiles was selected to the Second Team and Anthony Hubbard to the Third Team.

BOZEMAN LOOKS FOR ANOTHER 20-WIN SEASON
For three of the last seven seasons, all as head coach, Todd Bozeman has guided teams to at least 20 victories. Bozeman set the Morgan State record for consecutive 20-win campaigns in 2007-08 with a 22-11 record and extended it with a 23-12 campaign in 2008-09, followed by a Division I school record 27-11 record in 2009-10. The previous record was back-to-back 20-win seasons under coach Nathaniel Frazier when he guided the Bears to a 20-8 record in 1972-73, followed by 28-5 in 1973-74.

BLACK MOVING IN ON 1,000 POINTS
Senior guard Justin Black has 982 points for his career and needs just 18 to join the 1,000 points club.

TOUGH IN THE PAINT
Ian Chiles and Cedric Blossom are both shooting better than .500 from the field this year. Thru the first 10 games Chiles is shooting 55.8 pct. (58-104), while front court teammate Blossom is shooting .571 (28-49) from the floor.

CHILES STANDS TALL 
Redshirt senior Ian Chiles returns as one of the tallest centers in the state of Maryland. The 7-foot-2 senior averaged 9.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, and 1.7 bpg last season. The New Jersey native was also one of the most efficient low-post players in the league by shooting 53.5 percent from the field. “Big Slew” used the offseason to improve his strength and conditioning and is expected to be among the most dominant post players in the league. “Slew” is currently averaging 14.1 ppg and 5.9 rpg.

HOMECOMING
Morgan State has three players on the roster from California. Thair Heath and Hassante Manning are both from Los Angeles, while Rasean Simpson is from San Diego.

UP NEXT
After Cal-Northridge, the Bears will face Oregon (Dec. 29), followed by California-Irvine (Jan. 2).

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