Morgan hopes to bounce back Saturday against Bethune-Cookman

February 28, 2014 | WNST Staff

Saturday, March 1, 2014
Opponent: Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (6-23, 4-10 MEAC)
Site: Hill Field House, Baltimore, Md.
Game Time: 4:00 p.m. EST
MSU Coach: Todd Bozeman (139-114 – 8th yr)

BEARS WELCOME BETHUNE-COOKMAN ON SATURDAY
The Morgan State Bears (11-14, 9-4 MEAC) looks to get back in the win column when it hosts the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game set for Saturday at 4:00 p.m. Saturday’s matchup will mark the 55th all-time meeting between the two programs, with Morgan State holding a 32-22 edge since 1984. The Bears have won the last eight matchups against Bethune-Cookman.

SCOUTING BETHUNE-COOKMAN
The Wildcats welcomed back three veterans, including one starter, from a squad that posted a 14-20 overall record, and finished eighth place in the MEAC with an  7-9 record. The Wildcats have three players averaging double-digit scoring. Mikel Trapp leads the squad averaging 11.6 ppg, followed by Malik Jackson (11.0 ppg) and Clemmye Owens (10.4 ppg). Owens is among the league leaders in 3-point shooting percentage (.384 – Ranked No. 6) and 3-pointers made (2.1 avg. – Ranked No. 6). Gravelle Craig (Cleveland St. ’94) is currently 46-57 as the Wildcats head coach.  Mikel Trapp scored 26 points and Clemmye Owens added 24 to lead Bethune-Cookman (6-23, 4-10). Troy Simmons dished out five assists for the Wildcats who were defeated by Florida A&M 80-75 last Saturday.

LAST TIME VS. THE WILDCATS
NORFOLK, Va. (March 16, 2013) — Fifth-seeded Morgan State built an early lead and repelled several rallies by fourth-seeded Bethune-Cookman to earn an 82-71 win over the Wildcats Friday in semifinal action of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Norfolk Scope Arena.Shaquille Duncan led the way for Morgan State with 17 points, on a 7-of-8 effort from the field.  Justin Black and Dwayne Jackson added 16 points each in the contest, the first meeting between the two teams in two years. Anthony Hubbard was also in double figures with 11 points for Coach Todd Bozeman‘s squad, which climbed to 17-14. Black added a team-high nine rebounds.

WE MEET AGAIN: The Morgan State Bears will square off against the Wildcats for the 55th meeting between the two. Morgan State holds a 32-22 advantage, and the Bears have won the last eight meetings. Todd Bozeman holds a 9-2 record against the Wildcats since becoming MSU’s head coach in 2006.

THREE IN DOUBLE FIGURES
Thru 25 games last season, three Bears averaged more than 10 points a game. Justin Black leads with by averaging 19.3 ppg (No. 3 in MEAC), Ian Chiles averages 15.1 points per game (No. 10 in MEAC), while Anthony Hubbard is averaging 10.4 points and leads the squad averaging 6.8 rpg (No. 8).

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 Anthony Young (1,269 pts – 1975-79) as the school’s No. 14 leading scorer and currently has 1,282 career points.

POUNDING THE PAINT
Morgan State is eager to get the ball inside this season, even more so than normal. Through 13 conference games, MSU leads the MEAC averaging 76 points per game, including 15 points in the paint. This includes a dominating 50-22 edge in the paint at Hampton (1/20), and 42-20 advantage at Coppin State (2/10).

THEIVES IN THE NIGHT
Two Bears are averaging better than 1.0 steals per game - Justin Black (2.0 – ranks No. 2 in MEAC), and Donte Pretlow (1.3 – No. 9). Morgan State is also No. 5 in the MEAC by averaging 6.7 steals per game.

LOOK WHO’S IN SLAM 
Morgan State senior guard Justin Black was recently featured in SLAM ONLINE (www.slamonline.com) in an article entitled “Game Plan.”

TOUGH IN THE PAINT
Ian Chiles and Thair Heath are shooting better than .500 from the field this year. Thru the first 25 games Chiles is shooting 55.3 pct (ranks No. 5 in MEAC). Heath is shooting 54.2 pct., while frontcourt teammate The Bears are among the top teams in the MEAC ranked No. 3 in field goal percentage (.430).

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’s currently ranked No. 2 in the MEAC averaging 3.0 rejections per contest (76) and now has 175 career blocks.

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.

A BLOSSOM ON THE OFFENSIVE GLASS
Cedric Blossom leads the Bears with 67 offensive rebounds thru the first 25 games. The sophomore has started in every game and is averaging 6.8 ppg, 5.2 rebounds in 23.0 minutes. He had a sensational game at UMES (Feb. 17) where he posted a career-high 20 points and 11 rebounds — it marked the second double-double of his career.

THE 3-HEADED GRIZZLY
In the first 13 conference matchups this season Justin BlackIan Chiles and Anthony Hubbard have scored 541 points, while the rest of the squad has produced 428 points. In the blowout of Howard, the trio combined to score 39 points with Black scored a team-high 17 points. Against Coppin State, the trio accounted for 61 of the Bears’ 82 points with Black and Chiles leading the way with 23 apiece. The trio has totaled 1,119 of the team’s 1,787 points, 63 percent of the team’s scoring load.

SENIOR DAY ON MONDAY
MSU will say goodbye to four seniors during a pregame ceremony. Justin BlackIan ChilesAnthony Hubbard and Thair Heath will wrap up seasons of impressive work Monday night (March 3, 7:30 p.m.) when Morgan State and Florida A&M meet in Hill Field House in the 2014 home finale.

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