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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fairmont State Rallies to Defeat Bowie State 89-79

FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The Bowie State University men’s basketball team made their 2013-14 regular season debut with a 79-89 loss against host Fairmont State University on Saturday afternoon inside the Joe Retton Arena as part of the Joe Retton Classic. Senior Ray Gatling (Oxon Hill, Md.) had a game and career-high 26 points, followed by junior Cameron Knox (Baltimore, Md.) with 11 points. Gatling also contributed five assists and three steals, both team-highs.

Senior Donald Williams (Hyattsville, Md.) and junior Cameron Knox (Baltimore, Md.) added 10 points while graduate student Brian Freeman (Clinton, Md.) just missed a double-double with seven points and 10 rebounds.

Bowie State (0-1) took a quick lead off an opening possession dunk by senior Carlos Smith (Baltimore, Md.) and the Bulldogs opened a 32-20 lead at the 8:56mark of the first half. Fairmont State managed to tie the score on two occasions in the first half, but failed to gain a lead.

The Fighting Falcons trailed 46-40 at halftime. Fairmont State shot 50 percent (15-of-30) in the first half, compared to 46 percent (17-of-37) shooting for Bowie State. Fairmont State’s Fighting Falcons did hold a slight 20-19 rebounding advantage at the break.

In the second half, the Bulldogs maintained a lead until a layup by Fairmont State’s Ke’Chaun Lewis (Columbus, Ohio) with 13:23 left in the game, gave the home team their first lead at 56-55.

A pair of free throws by Bulldogs senior David Golladay (Upper Marlboro, Md.) shifted the advantage back over to Bowie State. The lead would switch sides six more time before the Fighting Falcons’ Chase Morgan (Pineville, W.Va.) knocked down a pair of free throws at the 11:04 mark that gave FSU a 64-63 lead.

The Fighting Falcons never trailed again after retaking the lead, in fact their advantage expanded to as much as eight before the conclusion. BSU did manage to come within one at 80-79 on a triple by Gatling with 2:09 left to play. However, that would be the last points of the contest for the Bulldogs.

Five Fairmont State players scored in double figures with Brendon Cooper (Parma, Ohio) recording a double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds to go along with a game-high nine assists. Steve Browning (Logan, W.Va.) led the Fighting Falcons with 21 points while Caleb Davis (Charlotte, N.C.) and Morgan added 15 and 13 points respectively. Thomas Wimbush (Lorain, Ohio) rounded out FSU’s double figure scorers with 11 points and added seven rebounds.

Fairmont State (1-0) held on to the lead and sealed the game shooting 5-of-6 from the free throw line in the final two minutes compared to no free throw attempts for Bowie State over the final four minutes.

The Bulldogs concluded the contest shooting 44 percent (28-of-63) from the floor and 50 percent (16-of-32) from the foul line. Fairmont State shot 48 percent (30-of-62) from the field and 71 percent (25-of-35) from the charity stripe.

“I thought we defended well and played with a great amount of energy, but free throws really hurt us today”, said fifth-year head coach Darrell Brooks.

The Bulldogs will remain in Fairmont, W.Va. for their next matchup against West Virginia Wesleyan University. Tip-off is scheduled for Sunday, November 10th at 2:00 pm inside the Joe Retton Arena on the campus of Fairmont State University.

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