The Bowie State University (BSU) Bulldogs overcame a 37-35 halftime deficit and rebounded to capture an 80-69 non-conference victory over the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown (UPJ). The 20th ranked Bulldogs improve their overall record to 5-1 on the year while the Mountain Cats dip to 5-4 overall.

“I thought we defended very well,” said Bulldogs head coach Darrell Brooks. “We forced 25 turnovers and guarded really well in our half-court man and full-court pressure … that has been our focus over the last week and half.”

So far this season, when Bowie State scores first and/or shoots 50 percent or better from the field, the Bulldogs win. Dec. 8 was no different. Senior guard Jay Gavin stroked a 3-pointer right off the opening tip and BSU ended the evening shooting 50 percent from the floor.

Bowie State was paced by Gavin’s career-high 26 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the floor to go along with five rebounds and three assists. BSU senior guard Darren Clark and junior guard Bryan Wilson also scored in double figures tallying 20 and 13 points respectively. Clark led the Bowie State on the glass, grabbing a team-high seven rebounds and tied his season-assists high with eight.

UPJ Mountain Cats was led by senior forward-center Patrick Grubbs who scored a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds. Junior guard Jordan Miller had 17 points and a team-high six assists, while junior guard Nick Novak added 17 points as well.

The Mountain Cats shot 48 percent from the field (27-of-56), but just 4-of-16 from three-point range. Pitt-Johnstown made 11 of its 17 free throws (65 percent).
BSU now looks ahead to its upcoming game at Mercyhurst.

“We have to do a better job taking care of the basketball,” Brooks said. “We just turn it over too much and we have to be a little more patient executing our offense. If we get better at those things and get a little better with our defense, we’ll be tough to deal with as the season moves on.
The Bulldogs will now prepare for first semester final exams before returning to action in the Mercyhurst Invitational (Dec. 17-18) in Erie, Pennsylvania.


Greg Goings

Special to the AFRO