The Morgan State University (MSU) men’s basketball team earned its third straight win with a 67-62 victory over the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) Keydets on Feb. 19 at Hill Field House in Baltimore.
Morgan State junior forward Kevin Thompson led a “big man” attack that simply couldn’t be stopped by the undersized VMI in a game televised as part of ESPN’s Bracketbuster series.
Thompson, a 6-foot, 8-inch Baltimore native, scored 18 points on a perfect 9-for-9 shooting from the field, along with eight rebounds. Meanwhile, fellow 6-foot, 8-inch big man Rodney Stokes also went off inside the paint, recording a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds, along with three blocks. Stokes and Thompson would combine for more than half of the team’s total points scored, a strategy designed by Morgan State’s head coach Todd Bozeman.
“Kevin and Stokes really brought a lot to the table,” Bozeman said. “We had the size advantage and we really wanted to use it to control the tempo. Because if you control the tempo, you can determine the outcome of the game.”
Controlling the tempo also allowed MSU to slow down VMI offensively. VMI (15-12 overall) usually score 90 points per game, but their lack of size held them to nearly 30 points less than their average.
Senior guard Austin Kenon led VMI with 18 points, while junior guard Keith Gabriel scored 15 points and freshman forward/center D.J. Covington added 10 points in the loss.
Morgan State advanced to a 13-10 overall record, and improved to 2-1 in ESPN Bracketbuster televised games since 2009. ?
Morgan State will now prepare for another ESPN-televised matchup against University of Maryland-Eastern Shore on Feb. 21 at Hill Field House.