|No. 9 Morgan State Tops No. 8 UMES in MEAC Tournament 1st Round||< All News|
|Tuesday, March 8, 2016|
The final seven-point margin was the largest lead of the game for the Bears (9-21). Altogether, the contest featured 15 lead changes and 12 ties, including 13 lead changes in the second half alone.
The victory advanced MSU to the quarterfinal round on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at top-seeded Hampton. UMES saw its season come to a close at 10-22.
Morgan State rallied early in the second half, erasing a six-point deficit and then taking the lead on Clive Vaughn's fastbreak layup five and a half minutes into the stanza. The game see-sawed from there, with neither team going up by more than two until the 5:33 mark, when Devin Martin's layup put UMES up 56-53.
The Hawks, though, turned it over on four straight possessions and went 1-of-5 from the field in the last five and a half minutes as Morgan State pulled ahead and eventually outscored UMES 12-2 to close out the game.
Phillip Carr tallied 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting to pace Morgan State. He was one of four players in double figures, with Donte Pretlow, Rasean Simpson and Cedric Blossom each tallying 14 points on the night. Pretlow also added seven assists with a single turnover, one of just seven for MSU in the game.
MSU overcame a 40-26 UMES advantage on the glass. Despite a 16-8 advantage in offensive rebounds, UMES was still outscored by the Bears 11-10 in second-chance points.
Neither team had more than a three-point lead for the first 16 minutes of the first half until UMES got layups from Derrico Peck and Dominique Elliott on back-to-back possessions. Those two buckets began a 9-0 run for the Hawks, who led 31-22 with 3:04 left in the half after Ryan Andino drained a 3-pointer from the left wing.
Morgan State closed the gap to 33-29 heading into the break after Carr completed a three-point play with just 0.7 seconds left on the clock.
First-team All-MEAC honoree Dominique Elliott led the Hawks with 20 points on 9-of-16 shooting and nine rebounds. Bakari Copeland was the only other UMES player in double figures, tallying a double-double of 13 points and 10 boards.
Morgan State finished the game 25-of-51 from the floor but only 11-of-22 from the free throw line. UMES shot a respectable 25-of-58 (43.1-percent) but had only seven attempts at the charity stripe.