Bowie State’s Bulldogs dropped a tough CIAA Northern Division clash at Virginia Union on Saturday afternoon, losing by a final score of 67-60.
Senior Omari George (Baltimore, Md.) led all scorers with 18 points. Senior Ahmaad Wilson (Baltimore, Md.) and sophomore Cameron Hayes (Upper Marlboro, Md.) finished with nine points each and sophomore Saiquan Jamison (Upper Marlboro, Md.) pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
In a first half that featured seven ties and seven lead changes the Bulldogs of Bowie State carried a 30-29 lead into halftime over the Panthers of Virginia Union. Bowie State hot 10-of-29 first half field goals (34.5 percent) compared to 12-of-25 (48 percent) for VUU.
Neither team led by more than four points over the first 20 minutes, but Bowie State turned nine Virginia Union turnovers into 11 points.
Bowie State’s defense took a big hit early in the second half as Jamison picked up his fourth foul at the 17:25 mark. VUU used the opportunity to take a 40-36 lead at the 16:05 mark, forcing the Bulldogs to burn a timeout.
A pair of George free throws cut the Virginia Union lead to a bucket only to watch Kory Cooley follow up a Panthers missed shot with a dunk and a 42-38 lead.
A Todd Hughes triple gave the Panthers their largest lead of the afternoon (46-41) at the 12:38 mark.
The Virginia Union Panthers (10-9) used an 8-0 run to extend its lead to 54-43, forcing Bowie State to call another timeout, leaving the them with only one with 9:14 remaining in the game.
BSU senior Jemuel Brown (Laurel, Md.) came off the Bulldogs bench to score on a conventional three-point play at the 7:40 mark and back-to-back field goals by George trimmed the Virginia Union lead to 56-50.
BSU’s Brown recorded another conventional three-point cutting the Panthers lead down to five at 56-53. The Bulldogs narrowed the gap to 58-55 on short baseline jumper by redshirt sophomore David Belle (Hyattsville, Md.).
It appears every time Bowie State threatened, Virginia Union would stave off the threat. With the Bulldogs trailing 63-57, Bowie State head coach Darrell Brooks had no choice but to insert Jamison and his four fouls back into the game at the 2:50 mark. Bowie State managed just one field goal over the final 3:13 of the game.
Cooley and Hughes led Virginia Union with 17 points each and James Paige tallied 12 points. Hughes also led the Panthers on the glass with eight rebounds.
Bowie State men’s basketball return to action on Wednesday (January 24th), hosting Chowan University at 7:30 p.m. in the Bulldogs’ A.C. Jordan Arena.