By Mark F. Gray, Staff Writer, [email protected]
BOWIE STATE MEN AND WOMEN ROUNDING INTO FORM
Bowie State finds itself creeping up the CIAA standings after winning their fifth consecutive game to conclude a three game road trip against teams from the southern division. After a 68-52 road victory at Fayetteville St., the Bulldogs find themselves at 10-8 and 5-1 mark in the conference.
Coach Darrell Brooks’ team seems to be blending as the conference schedule moves into high gear and their spring semester begins on the Prince George’s County campus. The veterans are stepping up to lead the Bulldogs while the young players are growing with each contest. The result is a balanced team with a multitude of weapons and the versatility to win playing any style.
Juniors Rinardo Perry and Yohance Fleming led Bowie St. combining for 36 points while making 14 of their 25 field goals between them. Perry led the Bulldogs scoring a game-high 22 points with three blocks, two assists and one steal. Fleming added 14 with six rebounds while junior Cameron Hayes added 10 points. Junior Saiquan Jamison notched a double-double scoring 12 points and with a game-high 11 rebounds against the Broncos.
The undersized, but athletic, Bulldogs dominated the glass in Fayetteville. Bowie State outrebounded the Broncos 39-25, which led to transition scoring chances. They led by 15 at halftime but were never really challenged in the game.
However, one of the best-kept secrets in DMV basketball right now is the Bowie State Lady Bulldogs who continue to fly under the radar although the conference is beginning to take notice. BSU needed the reigning CIAA Player of the Week Pere Alexander to lead a fourth quarter rally as they recovered from a slow start to defeat Fayetteville State 55-51.
Alexander, a redshirt senior, led the Lady Bulldogs scoring 14 points while grabbing 11 rebounds. Freshman Chyna Butler added in 11 points, five rebounds, two steals and two assists. Bowie State outrebounded Fayetteville St. 38-34 and won the scoring battle in the paint 32-22.
The Lady Broncos started quickly by opening a 12-2 lead over the 5:24 of the first quarter, forcing the Lady Bulldogs to use an early timeout. The Bulldogs struggled in the third quarter and didn’t score over a six-minute stretch and they trailed 46-36 at the 6:50 mark of the fourth quarter. However, the Bulldogs used a 17-4 fourth quarter run to rally and escape with the victory.
HOWARD MEN CONTINUE STRUGGLING
As the first winter storm arrived, the clouds hovering over the Howard Bison continue as they fell to Bethune Cookman 71-63, inside Burr Gymnasium.
The Bison, who fell to 7-10 and 1-2 in the MEAC, were led by sophomore guard RJ Cole, with a team-high 20 points, five assists, and four rebounds. Cole has been added to the midseason Lou Henson Award watch list. The Lou Henson Award is presented annually to the nation’s top mid-major player in Division I College Basketball.
Howard struggled finding its rhythm in the first half, shooting only 24-percent (11-of-45), but dominated the offensive glass with 14 boards. However, they found it difficult to convert those second chance opportunities into points, which led to a halftime deficit that was too much for them to overcome.
“We really dominated the offensive glass to start the game,” said Howard coach Kevin Nickelberry after the game. “But it’s tough when you dominate on the glass and you don’t really get anything from it. We just got to keep plugging away, [the] guys played with effort and energy.”
Howard’s game versus Morgan State were postponed and rescheduled after the snowstorms that pelted the DMV, which started during their game against the Wildcats.