The Morgan State Men’s basketball team fell on the road to George Mason Friday night in Fairfax, VA 86-79. The loss puts coach Todd Bozeman’s Bears at 4-7 on the season while continuing a losing slide that has reached five games.
This game represented a tale of two halves as Morgan State jumped on the Patriots early, which resulted in a 42-32 halftime lead. The second half would prove to be troublesome for the Bears as their defense lost focus resulting in George Mason putting up a 54 point half and erasing its 10 point halftime deficit. George Mason didn’t take its first lead until 3:39 left in the game with a layup by 19 year old guard Justin Kier. He led the Patriots in scoring with 22 points while also grabbing 6 boards and 2 assists. Morgan State was fueled by senior forward Phillip Carr’s 23 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks. The surprise for Morgan was from senior guard Tiwian Kendley who poured in 31 points, a career high. The Bears’ only other double digit scorer was sophomore forward David Syfax, who contributed with 11 points and 3 boards. As stated earlier, defense was an issue for Bozeman’s squad as they allowed George Mason to shoot 53 percent from the floor. The Bears can also point to the disparity in success at the charity stripe as a factor in the loss because the Patriots made 24 of 28 free throws compared to the Bears only going 16 for 24. Rebounds, assists and turnovers were roughly even but perhaps the final statistic Morgan State would like to correct is not taking better advantage of the 17 offensive rebounds they produced. The Bears shot 44 percent (29-66) for the game.
Morgan State will close out the year on a west coast trip with two games, one in Sin City (Las Vegas) on December 27 when they face Grand Union, and one in Northridge, California when they take on Cal-State Northridge on December 30. Hopefully if the Bears can correct some of the mistakes that have plagued them recently, they can stop the losing streak and have something to feel good about as the calendar turns towards a new year.
By: Erin Reid