Morgan State’s Inside Presence and Depth the Difference
Baltimore, MD—January 8---Mike Phillips poured in a game- and career-high 25 points and Dadrian Collins contributed 14, but it was not enough to offset the depth as Morgan State downed Howard, 75-62 in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game Hill Fieldhouse.
It appeared as though Phillips would single handedly lead the Bison to victory when he scored 12 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in the first 20 minutes. But the Bears (6-7 overall, 2-0 in the MEAC) parlayed the power of Kevin Thompson and Ameer Ali, who combined for 18 points and 14 rebounds and their bench into a 47-33 halftime lead.
The undermanned Bison (2-12 overall, 0-2 in the MEAC) battled the defending champs despite foul trouble. Morgan State Coach Todd Bozeman went to his bench early and often and it paid dividends.
The Bears played 12 players and the minutes were evenly distributed. Thompson finished with a double double of 15 points and 15 rebounds while Ali also finished with a a double double of 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Howard played nine players with four of the starters logging more than 34 minutes. Phillips and Kyle Riley played all 40 minutes but it did seem to affect Phillips, the rapidly improving sophomore forward from Fredricksburg, VA, who recorded his third double double of the season (25 points, 10 rebounds).
Collins picked up his play in the second half, tallying 11 of his 14 points after intermission. He and Phillips helped Howard twice reduce 16-point deficits to seven points, but each time the Bears would go to Thompson, Ali, Aric Brooks (17 points) or DeWayne Jackson (11 points).
Riley finished with 12 and four assists while Collins added five rebounds to his stat line.
NEXT UP: Howard travels to Baltimore, MD to take on the Eagles of Coppin State on Monday at 7:30 pm at the Coppin Center. The Bears host Hampton University on Monday at 7:30 pm