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Sunday, December 1, 2013

Bowie State Holds Off Bluefield College 71-66 (MEN'S Bb FINAL)

ETTRICK, Va.—Senior Ray Gatling (Oxon Hill, Md.) tossed in a team-high 23 points to lead Bowie State to a 71-66 victory over Bluefield (Va.) College on Saturday evening to wrap up the Bulldogs participation in the Virginia State “Chick-fil-A” Classic.

Graduate student Brian Freeman (Clinton, Md.) recorded 13 points and tied for game-high rebounds with nine, while senior teammates Carlos Smith (Baltimore, Md.) and Zafir Williams (Philadelphia, Pa.) added eight points each in the victory.

Bowie State jumped out to a 6-0 lead forcing the Rams to call an early timeout. Gatling, the Classic Most Valuable Player, drained his first 3-pointer of the game right after the timeout and senior David Golladay (Upper Marlboro, Md.) hit a pair of free throws to push the Bulldogs lead to 11-0.

Asher Dillow stopped the Bowie State run with a 3-pointer at the 15:57 mark for Rams first points of the contest, but the Bulldogs led 11-3 at the first media timeout.

The Bowie State stronghold continued as the lead grew to 24-10 midway through the first half.  Bluefield made a little run but the Bulldogs strolled into intermission with a comfortable 44-22 advantage.

The Rams shot a dismal 25.7 percent from the field in the first half, making only 9-of-35 field goals, which included 2-of-14 beyond the arc.

The Bulldogs on the other hand, shot 51.6 percent (16-of-31) from the field, which include 5-of-12 behind the 3-point line. Bowie State shot well at the free throw, knocking down 7-of-8 from the charity stripe.

Bluefield opened the second half with 7-0 run before a layup by freshman Tai Marshall (Atlantic City, N.J.) stopped that run and cut the Rams deficit to 46-32. The Rams were able to pull within seven at 52-51 with just under 11 minutes in the contest and appeared to be gaining momentum and confidence. The Rams got back into the game behind hot shooting by Kearston Marion and Josh Nesbit.

A dish by Kyle Grisby to Nesbit created the games first tie at 53, but Bowie State regained the lead on their next trip down the floor. A pair of free throws by Freeman gave Bowie State a little breathing room and a triple by sophomore Justin Beck (Baltimore, Md.) pushed the lead up to eight at 61-53 with 7:27remaining in the game.

Bluefield continued to hustle and rallied to close within two at 64-62 with 2:42 left on the clock, but would get no closer the rest of the way.

The Bulldogs improve to 5-4 overall, while the Rams fall to 3-4 on the season. Bluefield was led by Marion with a team-high 18 points, while Nesbit added 16 in the loss.

Bowie State will return to action on Wednesday (December 11th) hosting the University of the District of Columbia Firebirds at 7 pm in the A.C. Jordan Arena.

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