Bowie State Captures CIAA Men's Basketball ChampionshipFebruary 26, 2017
Bulldogs Defeat the Fayetteville State Broncos 62-54
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(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) – The Bowie State Bulldogs men's basketball team captured a 62-54 CIAA Championship victory over the Fayetteville State Broncos on Saturday night in the Spectrum Center.
Tournament MVP junior Ahmaad Wilson scored 20 points as the Bulldogs outlasted the Broncos. The conference crown was the first since 2013 and the third overall for the Bulldogs, who gained the automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Tournament that goes with winning the championship.
Bowie State won the battle of attrition against Fayetteville State. The Bulldogs (16-14 overall), seeded fourth in the Northern Division, won the title by exhibiting the toughness that has marked the program since Darrell Brooks became head coach. They won four games in four days in the tournament including victories over Northern Division top seed Virginia Union and Southern Division No. 2 seed Livingstone.
"It was one of those games where you had to be gritty," said Brooks, who captured his second CIAA championship at Bowie State. "It wasn't pretty. Both teams struggled offensively due to good defense. We just stuck with it."
The biggest plays occurred early in the second half with the Bulldogs nursing a 27-26 lead. After two free throws by senior Enuoma Ebinum, the Bulldogs converted two steals off inbound passes into an Omari George layup and a Wilson three-pointer to extend the margin to 34-26. It was the cushion they needed to stay ahead even though the Broncos pulled within three points twice.
But after the score was 52-49 on Josh Bryant's layup, standout point guard Josh Dawson, who averaged 17.5 points the previous three games, was whistled for his fifth foul at the 2:12 mark. With the Broncos floor leader and catalyst watching from the bench, the Bulldogs finished with a 10-5 run to put the game away.
Both George and Ebinum added 11 points each for the Bulldogs with Ebinum collecting three blocks including a couple down the stretch to ward off a late Broncos run. Senior Michael Briscoe contributed nine points, eight rebounds and two steals for the Bulldogs, who shot 39.3 percent but scored 18 points off 16 Bronco turnovers. George and junior Dayshawn Wells combined for six of the Bulldogs' 10 steals.
Wilson scored six points and George added five points and three steals. Briscoe snatched six rebounds for the Bulldogs, who forced nine Bronco turnovers for nine points.
Wilson was one of 10 players selected to the CIAA All-Tournament team. The others are Briscoe of Bowie State; Dawson, Tyson and Bryant of Fayetteville State; David Duncan of Livingstone; Quincy January of Saint Augustine's; Elijah Moore and Richard Granberry of Virginia State; and Robert Davis of Johnson C. Smith.
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