The Morgan State Bears had to settle for second place in the Cancun Caribbean Challenge after falling to North Florida, 59-52, in the Mayan Division Championship on Nov. 24 in Mexico.

Morgan State advanced out of the first round of the tourney with a 72-53 blowout win over Western Illinois. But North Florida proved to be a much more difficult test, going blow-for-blow with Morgan State all the way to the final whistle.

North Florida started the game hot and didn’t cool off, taking a 10-point lead into halftime and holding off Morgan State’s late-game run to secure the victory.

No one player dominated for North Florida, with three players scoring double-digits, including Andres Diaz, Matt Sauey and Parker Smith, who scored 11 points each.

More impressive was North Florida’s stifling defense, which limited Morgan State to only 32 percent shooting from the field, one day after they shot an outstanding 49 percent against Western Illinois.

MSU star Kevin Thompson recorded yet another double-double this season with 10 points and 10 rebounds and was named to the Mayan Division All-Tournament team, but Morgan’s best scorer, DeWayne Jackson, was held to only 12 points. Rodney Stokes added nine more points.

Next Up:

Morgan State (2-3) will return to Baltimore to host non-conference rival Loyola at the Hill Field House on Nov. 29.

 

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor