Morgan State men’s basketball team has one of the best “big man” combinations in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) with junior Kevin Thompson and senior Rodney Stokes patrolling the paint.

But even they couldn’t stop Norfolk State’s Kyle O’Quinn, who dominated on the inside, scoring a game-high 23 points to help Norfolk State get by Morgan State, 69-63, Feb. 26 in Norfolk, Va.

O’Quinn, a strong candidate to win MEAC Player of the Year this season, also led the game with an outstanding 18 rebounds, along with four assists and three blocks.

“They outrebounded us [36-34] and O’Quinn had a big night,” said Morgan State coach Todd Bozeman. “He gave us problems again. He gave us problems up at our place.”

Thompson, the 2010 MEAC Defensive Player of the Year, tried to challenge O’Quinn, scoring double figures in two categories for his 11th double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds. But MSU’s best scorer, sophomore forward DeWayne Jackson, was limited to only two points in the first half and 10 points in the entire game. Morgan State also struggled from the free-throw line, missing nearly half of their attempts.

“I thought we were getting into a rhythm, but it didn’t translate,” Bozeman said. “I thought we had an opportunity all the way until it got to single digits, but you’re not going to win a lot of games when you shoot 59 percent from the free throw line.”

Morgan State fell to 15-11 overall, 10-4 MEAC, and will next face North Carolina A&T in Greensboro, N.C. on Feb. 28.

“Our fate was in our own hands,” Bozeman said, “and now we have to win out and Bethune-Cookman (18-11, 12-3 MEAC) would have to lose for us to have a chance to win the regular season.”

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor