The Bowie State University Bulldogs men’s basketball team heated up just in time for the postseason, ending their regular season with an 87-77 road victory against the Elizabeth City State University Vikings in Elizabeth City, N.J. on Feb. 23.

The victory set the Bulldogs’ overall record at 12-13, 8-8 in the CIAA and 5-5 in the very important Northern Division. The team capped off the regular season with a three-game winning streak just in time for the CIAA Tournament which tips off Feb. 26 in Charlotte, N.C.

After a tight contest early on, Elizabeth City State opened a 18-13 lead with 12:47 remaining in the first half following a layup by junior forward Jaron Moore.

Elizabeth City State (16-10, 9-7 CIAA, 7-3 North) took full control in the first half after a 3-point field goal by sophomore guard A.J. Johnson put the Vikings up, 35-27, with 5:59 remaining in the first half.

But Bowie State would not back down and embarked on an 18-6 run to take a 45-41 lead at the half.

The Vikings battled back and briefly took a 70-69 lead with 4 minutes left in the second half. But the Bulldogs went on an 8-0 run over the next two minutes to take a decisive 77-70 lead.

Bowie State senior guard Byron Westmoreland was his usual dominant self, scoring a game-high 34 points to go along with six rebounds, and shot 75 percent from the free-throw line. Helping out in the winning effort was junior forward Carlos Smith who finished with 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Bowie State senior forward Najee White also had a solid outing with 12 points and eight rebounds. Bowie State out-rebounded the Vikings 47-31.

With the win, Bowie State looked to be the fourth seed in the North when CIAA Tournament pairings are announced on Feb. 25.

Greg Goings

Special to the AFRO