By Benjamin McKnight III
In what has been a highly frustrating season thus far, any win that the Morgan State Men’s Basketball team can get is worth smiling about.
On Saturday, February 7, the Bears earned that elusive feeling of satisfaction, leaving Hill Field House with their fifth win of the season after beating the Savannah State Tigers 67-57.
The Bears opened up the game with a 10-3 run and lead by as many as eight points in the first half after an emphatic putback dunk from junior guard Rasean Simpson. Even with that score and a handful of other possessions on both sides of the floor that would normally build great momentum, the Bears ended the half tied at 25 with the Tigers.
“We had unforced turnovers, and we definitely didn’t make our free throws,” said head coach Todd Bozeman. The Bears shot 43 percent from the free throw line, as well as 36 percent from the field with no three pointers made in the opening half.
In the second half, the Bears improved their shooting percentage and implemented a noticeable defensive gameplan adjustment, which included replacing regular starting junior guard, Donte Pretlow, with sophomore, Emmanuel Matey. “He’s a good defender and he can stay in front of guys,” said Bozeman on the switch to Matey. “It’s all about the guys who play with energy and toughness.”
Junior forward, Cedric Blossom, provided the spark the Bears needed on the offensive end with 26 points, matching his career high. “Coach was harping on defense, and defense creates offense,” said Blossom. He also had no problem sharing the credit with Simpson, who posted 16 points and tied Blossom with nine rebounds.
With the win, the Bears improve to 5-18 and 3-6 in the MEAC. Their next game is against South Carolina State University at Hill Field House on February 9.
“We gotta play a little harder, come out with a lot more energy in the first half, play better D[efense], talk more, execute and we’ll be fine,” said Matey.
*Photo Credit: MSU Athletics Media Relations