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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bulldogs Senior Day Spoiled by 85-80 Regular Season Finale Loss against Elizabeth City State

BOWIE, Md. - Bowie State (14-13, 8-8 CIAA, 7-3 North) started hot but fizzled down the stretch and were beaten by Elizabeth City State 60-54 in the Bulldogs home finale. In spite of the loss, Bowie State captures the CIAA Northern Division crown by virtue of a Lincoln loss at Virginia State on Saturday evening.

Senior Ray Gatling (Oxon Hill, Md.) pumped in a game-high 22 points while senior teammates Carlos Smith (Baltimore, Md.) and David Golladay (Upper Marlboro, Md.) added 18 and 14 points respectively.

“We had a great pace to start the game, we defended and rebounded but didn’t sustain it”, said Bulldogs head coach Darrell Brooks. “You have to play halves … we didn’t and we have to move past this and focus on the CIAA Tournament!”

As with so many Bowie State games this season, the Bulldogs opened the game on a Smith dunk to start the scoring. Golladay followed with another dunk for an early 4-0 Bowie State lead. The Bulldogs lead didn’t last long as Elizabeth City State created the first tie at 6-all at the 16:40 mark of the opening period.

The Vikings took their first lead less than three minutes later courtesy of a 3-pointer by Miykael Faulcon (Durham, N.C.), but a triple by Bulldogs junior Cameron Knox (Baltimore, Md.) shifted the advantage back over to the home team at 19-17.

Bowie State put together a 15-2 run to take its largest lead of the afternoon at 35-19 with 7:36 left in the first half.

Elizabeth City State trimmed the Bowie State lead down to 47-40 by halftime mainly on the hot shooting of Faulcon and Darrell Ward (White Plains, N.Y.).  Faulcon and Ward closed out the first 20 minutes with 15 and 12 points respectively. The Vikings hit 16-of-35 first half field goals (45.7 percent).

Gatling scored a dozen points and Golladay added 10 points in the first half for the Bulldogs. As a team, Bowie State shot 58.6 percent from the field (17-of-29).

The Vikings whittled away at the Bulldogs lead, cutting it down to 54-52 on a 3-pointer by Glenn Patterson (Red Springs, N.C.) early in the second half. A Faulcon jumper at the 13:41 mark shifted the advantage back over to Elizabeth City State. A layup by DeCarlos Anderson (Portsmouth, Va.) pushed the Vikings lead to 60-55, forcing a Bowie State timeout.

The lead would change hands one time with the Bulldogs last lead coming at the 6:37 mark via a free throw by Gatling and Bowie State in front 70-69.

Elizabeth City State’s Ward sank a pair of free throws 58 seconds later, putting the Vikings in front to stay. In fact, the ECSU lead grew to eight (78-70) only to see the Bulldogs make an 8-1 run to pull within one at 79-78 with 36 ticks left on the clock.

However, the Vikings closed the game with a 7-2 run to avenge an earlier season loss to the Bulldogs.

Elizabeth City State (14-12, 9-7 CIAA, 6-4 North) was led by Faulcon with a team-high 21 points and Ward added 18 points. Jeremy Basnight (Currituck, N.C.) and LaShawn Alexander (Norfolk, Va.) recorded 15 and 14 points respectively in the win. Alexander led both teams in rebounding with nine.

The Bulldogs receive a first and second round bye before beginning play on Thursday (2/27) in the quarterfinals of the CIAA Tournament.

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