Bulldogs Go on a Tear as CIAA Tournament Approaches
By Maurice Berry
The Bowie State University men's basketball team has been a force all season and finds itself in prime position to gain the No. 1 seed going into the CIAA Tournament. The Bulldogs have been rolling as of late and have won five straight and find themselves (15-3, 9-1 in CIAA).
In their five-game winning streak, they have wins over: Chowan University, Elizabeth City State University, who beat them in the CIAA Tournament last season, Saint Paul's College, Virginia State University and Washington Adventist University.
The Bulldogs started off the regular season 5-0 before losing two straight. Since losing those two straight games to California University of Pennsylvania and Goldey-Beacom College, the Bulldogs have gone 10-1. The Bulldogs have been successful by protecting home court with a record of 10-0 at home. Six of their ten victories at home have come by double digits. That includes a 29 point whipping of Virginia State University.
In the game against the Virginia State, the Bulldogs used a 19-2 start to take the game over and never looked back. The Bulldogs would have a 23-point lead at halftime with the score being 47-24. The more dominating stat of the first half was the fact that the Bulldogs had 24 first half points in the paint. The Bulldogs had a 15-point advantage on the glass and held the Trojans to 10-33 shooting in the first half.
"I was really pleased with our effort on the defensive end and with rebounding, which were both keys to tonight's win," said head coach Darrell Brooks.
The Bulldogs were led on defense by junior Travis Hyman, who had 7 of the Bulldogs 10 blocks. Hyman is having an all conference and player of the year type season. The starters would sit the last 8:57 of the game, with the lead being 46 points; there was no need to have the starters still in the game.
The Bulldogs would play the next night against Washington Adventist University, there would be a little let up defensively but not offensively as the Bulldogs would put up 105 points on their way to a 105-91 win. The Bulldogs were led by junior Darren Clark, who had 26 points on eight-of 12 shooting and he knocked down eight-of-nine free throws. Senior Eric Vann put up 25. The Bulldogs grew their lead to 22 points at 62-42 and I guess the toll of a back to back showed up because the Bulldogs relaxed a little on the defensive end. They would close the game on a 17-10 run, improving their record to 15-3.
Congratulations are very much in order to Hyman who was voted as the Heritage Sports Radio Network (HSRN) National Division II Player of the Week. He had two big performances during the week: a 22-point, 17-rebound, 4-blocked shots against Elizabeth City State and a 13-point, nine-rebound game against Saint Paul's.
You can tell that the bulldogs are on a mission and with the CIAA Tournament coming in a few weeks. The Bulldogs are sending a strong message that they are the team to beat.