Opponent: Delaware State Hornets (4-15, 0-6 MEAC)
Site: Hill Field House, Baltimore, Md.
Game Time: 4 p.m. EST
MSU Coach: Todd Bozeman (134-112 – 8th yr)
SCOUTING THE HORNETS
The Hornets welcomed back 10 veterans, including three starters, from a squad that posted a 15-18 overall record, and finished eighth place in the MEAC with an 8-8 record. The Hornets have three players averaging double-digit scoring. Casey Walker leads the squad averaging 12.5 ppg, followed by Tyshawn Bell (11.3 ppg) and Kendall Gray (11.1 ppg). Gray is among the league leaders in rebounding (Ranked No. 3) by averaging 7.0 rpg. Greg Jackson (St. Paul’s ’80) enters his 14th season as the Hornets’ head coach where he currently holds a 200-216 record. Jake Duncan scored 19 points, including the 3-pointer that sent the game into overtime, as New Jersey Institute of Technology came from behind to edge Delaware State 65-59 on Monday. Trailing most of the game, NJIT tied it up in the final minutes with a 13-6 run capped by Duncan’s 3-pointer that made it 49-all at end of regulation. The Highlanders then scored five unanswered points in the first 2 minutes of OT to take their first lead of the game.
COMFORTABLE AT HILL FIELD HOUSE
Todd Bozeman has won at least 10 home games in three of his six seasons in Baltimore. The 2007-08 (12-1) and 2009-10 (11-1) squads finished with just a single loss, while the 2010-11 squad went 10-2. Bozeman has led the Bears to a 62-23 (.729) overall home record at Hill Field House.
THREE IN DOUBLE FIGURES
Thru 18 games last season, three Bears averaged more than 10 points a game. Justin Black leads with by averaging 18.7 ppg (No. 3 in MEAC), Ian Chiles averages 14.7 points per game, while Anthony Hubbard is averaging 11.1 points and leads the squad averaging 6.6 rebounds on the boards.
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 currently has 1,136 career points.
THREES & FREES
The Bears currently rank last (13th) in the MEAC in three-pointers made (4.6 per game) and last in three-point accuracy (27 percent). Morgan State hit a season-high eight from beyond the arc against Cal State Northridge on Dec. 18 vs. High Point, setting a season high for makes. MSU is averaging 24 FTAs per night and rank last in the MEAC in FTs made per game (14) and last in FT accuracy (252-426 – .592 pct).
THEIVES IN THE NIGHT
Two Bears are averaging better than 1.0 steals per game - Justin Black (2.2 – ranks No. 2 in MEAC), and Donte Pretlow (1.7 – No. 4). Morgan State is also No. 2 in the MEAC by averaging 7.4 steals per game.
TOUGH IN THE PAINT
Ian Chiles, Cedric Blossom and Thair Heath are shooting better than .500 from the field this year. Thru the first 18 games Chiles is shooting 55.5 pct (ranks No. 5 in MEAC). Heath is shooting 57.1 pct., while frontcourt teammate Blossom is shooting 51.8 pct from the floor.
WELCOME TO MY BLOCK PARTY
Ian Chiles has been making the most of his 7-foot-2 frame. The senior recorded a career-high 7 blocked shots against Marist on 11/25. He’s currently ranked No. 2 in the MEAC averaging 2.8 rejections per contest and now has 149 career blocks.
THE 3-HEADED GRIZZLY
In the first six conference matchups this season Justin Black, ian Chiles and Anthony Hubbard have scored 265 points, while the rest of the squad has produced 181 points. In the blowout of Howard, the trio combined to score 39 points with Black scored a team-high 17 points. Against South Carolina State, the trio accounted for 37 of the Bears’ 73 points. In the last two wins (at Norfolk State and Hampton) the trio averaged 57.5 ppg. The trio has totaled 799 of the team’s 1,185 points, 67 percent of the team’s scoring load.