The Morgan State Bears were perhaps the best HBCU basketball team in the nation last year, finishing with a 26-9 overall record and a trip to the NCAA Championship tournament. And it appears the same will be said about the Bears this year as they opened up the 2010 season with a highly impressive win over the No. 21-ranked Loyola Marymount Lions last weekend.

Morgan State managed to erase a 15-point deficit late in the second half to come back and win, 81-79, on the road at the Gersten Pavilion.

The Bears were without their best scorer from last season, Reggie Holmes, who graduated and went on to play professional ball. But they still scored plenty enough points, thanks to returning stars DeWayne Jackson and Kevin Thompson, both honored by the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in 2009.

Jackson, who was named the 2009-‘10MEAC Freshman of the Year, led all scorers in the game with 31 points on 10 for 18 shooting from the field, 7 of 10 shots made from three-point-land. Thompson, named 2009-’10 MEAC Defensive Player of the Year, added his typical double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Thompson dominated individually on the boards, but Loyola Marymount outrebounded the Bears as a team with 47 boards to MSU’s 37, which helped the Lions stay in control of the score most of the game. Fortunately for Morgan State, they sparked a large scoring run late in the game to help them earn back-to-back season opening victories for the first time since the 1979-’80 and 1980-’81 seasons.

Next Up:
The Bears will take the road again for another non-conference matchup against La Salle on Nov. 20 in Philadelphia.

 

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor