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Tuesday, February 21, 2012



                (RICHMOND, Va. – February 20, 2012)  In a tale of two halves, Bowie State University avenged an earlier season loss to Virginia Union, rallying to defeat the Panthers 101-82 and clinched the top spot in the conference’s Northern Division.  With the victory, the Bulldogs improve to 20-5 overall, 12-5 in the CIAA and 8-2 in the division.  This was the largest margin of victory against VUU, the most points scored against the Panthers and the first 100 plus point’s game this season for the Bulldogs.

             Virginia Union came out clicking on all cylinders, starting the game with a 10-0 shutout in the first three minutes.  The Panthers extended that lead to 14-4 and then to 11 points three times at 19-8, 23-12 and 26-15.

“Our guys did a great job, especially in the first half when we got down early … composing themselves and sticking with the game plan”, said a very happy Bowie State head coach Darrell Brooks.

            However, Bowie State didn’t panic and stormed back with a 10-1 run to pull within two (27-25).  The Bulldogs tied the game at 27 on a tip-in by junior Najee White at the 6:25 mark, silencing the sellout crowd in Barco-Stevens Hall.  The Bulldogs took their first lead at 29-27 on a pair of free throws by junior Byron Westmorland with 5:58 left in the first half.  Bowie State held a six point twice in the first period and went into the half leading 45-41.

            Virginia Union (15-12, 10-5 CIAA, 7-3 North) hit 16-of-33 first period field goals (49 percent) which included 5-of-9 beyond the arc.  Bowie State had a pretty good first half shooting the ball as well, making 15-of-35 from the field (43 percent) including 6-of-14 behind the 3-point line and 9-of-11 (82 percent) free throws.

            The Bulldogs opened the second half with a 12-0 run forcing the Panthers to call a timeout.  The Bowie State lead grew to 16 points twice before the Panthers cut the deficit to 13 on a 3-pointer by Dominic Carey at the 15:05 mark of the second half.    Virginia Union would go no closer.

            White gave the Bulldogs a comfortable 72-55 lead with 11:29 left to play on a fast break lay-up and free throw.  From there, Bowie State outscored Virginia Union 21-11 over the next 7:49 for a game-high lead of 27 points (93-33), leaving the Panthers with no real choice except to give some deep reserves a little time on the court.

            Bowie State’s defense clamped down so tight on Virginia Union in the second half, the Panthers managed only 27 percent field goal shooting (11-of-41).  BSU’s Bulldogs controlled the glass all night, out-rebounding the opponent 49-38.

            The Bulldogs may have started the game very slow but they really found the range in the second half shooting 63 percent (22-of-35) in the final period.

            “As I always say, any win on the road in this league is a steal and we’re just happy to get this one and get out town”, said Brooks.

            Jamaal Blalock, Calvin Brown and Juan Richards led Virginia Union with 13, 11 and 10 points respectively.  Damion Harris added eight points and a team-high eight rebounds.

            Seniors Darren Clark and Jay Gavin paced Bowie State with 23 and points respectively.  White recorded a season-high 16 points to go along with seven rebounds.  Senior Travis Hyman dropped in 14 points and added a game-high nine rebounds and tied his season-high of eight blocked shots.  Westmorland rounded out the Bulldogs’ double figure scorers with 11 points.

            The Bulldogs close out the regular season with a home finale against the Washington Adventist University Shock.  Prior to the 7 pm tip-off in BSU’s A.C. Jordan Arena, Bowie State will honor seniors Clark, Gavin, Hyman and Ali Djim.

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