On Sunday afternoon, the Morgan State Bears took a short trip from Baltimore down to Annapolis to take on the Navy Midshipmen. Navy would claim a 66-59 victory.
Hasan Abdullah had a double-double (15 points/10 rebounds) for Navy (7-3). He also recorded six assists and three steals in a very active role for the Midshipmen. For the Bears (4-4), Phillip Carr had 15 points and Martez Cameron contributed 14.
Both teams struggled handling the ball overall. Morgan State committed 14 turnovers, while Navy had 18. And it was early turnovers by Navy that helped Morgan State led for a good part of the first half. The first point of the game, a Navy free throw, would come nearly two minutes into the game (18:20 mark). The Midshipmen committed two turnovers on their first two possessions but Morgan State missed their first three shots that would kept the game scoreless until that free throw.
Carr’s jumper at the 16:05 mark would give Morgan State their first lead of the game at 6-5. The Bears would then go on a mini 4-0 run in the next 65 seconds and Morgan had what would be their best lead of the game, 10-5, with exactly 15 minutes left in the first half.
Navy would then miss their next three shots (all three-pointers) but Cam Davis would find the bottom of the net with his three-pointer at the 13:12 mark to cut the Bears lead down to 10-8.
A back and forth see-saw battle would occur after that and when Morgan State called for a 30-second timeout with 4:17 still left on the clock, the Bears held a 23-20 advantage. Navy would get hot and close out the first half on a 12-5 run to take a 32-28 lead into halftime.
As the second half started, it quickly would resemble what happened to start the first as both teams combined to commit three turnovers (two for Navy, one for Morgan State) before Evan Wieck’s layup at the 18:26 mark would give Navy a 34-28 lead.
Morgan State held very close to Navy for the first 13 minutes of the second half and with a layup by Elijah Staley for the Bears and the Midshipman’s lead was only four points, 50-46 and their was still 6:48 to play.
That seemed to light a spark under Navy as they would go on a hot streak, hitting their next four shots (two of them were threes) and ironically, Morgan State would miss their next four shots and with 4:07 on the clock, Navy had a double-digit lead, 60-49.
Their was one final push left in the Bears. Their 10-3 run in the next three minutes (1:05 was still on the clock) would cut Navy’s lead back down to four points at 63-59. Unfortunately, Morgan State couldn’t break past that four-point barrier as Abdullah would hit a layup with 39 seconds left and it was 65-59. LaPri McCray-Pace missed a Morgan State three-point shot and the man who seemed to be everywhere (Abdullah) secured the rebound and he was then quickly fouled by David Syfax, send Abdullah to the charity stripe. He would hit his first attempt but miss his second and the Bears still had a small window of hope with 27 seconds left.
But the Bears hopes were squashed six seconds later as Abdullah stole the ball from Carr and Morgan State allowed Navy to just dribble out the final seconds without fouling.
For the Midshipmen, they will take that short drive from Annapolis up to Baltimore to take on the Coppin State Eagles (0-8) Wednesday night at 7:00 PM. Just about seven miles from the game in Baltimore and Morgan State battles in-city rival, Towson Tigers (8-1) also on Wednesday night at 7:00 PM in what is being dubbed “Battle For Greater Baltimore.”
Towson is currently the hottest Division I men’s college basketball program in the state of Maryland.