ETTRICK, Va. – Forty minutes was not enough, but Bowie State junior Andre Jackson scored five points in overtime to help lift the Bulldogs to an exciting 80-79 overtime win at Virginia State on Wednesday night.
The win sets the Bowie State record at 20-7 overall (12-3 CIAA, 7-2 North) and in a tie for first place on the CIAA Northern Division with Virginia State.
However, Bowie State holds the tie breaker advantage over Virginia State with one regular season game remaining.
Senior Cameron Knox poured in a game-high 24 points and junior Justin Beck added 16 points. Jackson ended the night with 10 points to round out Bowie State’s double digit scorers. Senior Joel Clemmons grabbed a career-high eight rebounds to lead the Bulldogs on the glass.
“We knew tonight’s game was going to be a dog fight and thought our guys showed a tremendous amount of toughness and heart”, stated an elated Bowie State head coach Darrell Brooks. “Even after falling behind by 10 late in the first half, the team never panicked or lost confidence.”
Virginia State’s size really gave Bowie State a fit in the first half and the Trojans used their size advantage and hot field goal shooting to take a 40-36 lead into halftime.
The Trojans were paced in the first half by Alphonso Leary with 10 points. Virginia State (17-7, 11-4 CIAA, 7-2 North) led the entire first half, holding a 10 point cushion four times.
Bowie State’s Knox led the visitors with 10 first half points. The Bulldogs made 13-of-29 first half field goals, but managed just 2-of-12 behind the 3-point line.
The Bulldogs kept their composure, opening the second half with an 8-4 run to tie the game at 44-all on a Williams layup. A 3-pointer by freshman Dayshawn Wells gave Bowie State their first lead of the night at 47-44 with just under 14 minutes remaining in the second half.
Virginia State responded with three straight field goals and a free throw to regain the lead at 51-47 at the 12:33 mark.
Bowie State and Virginia State were tied at 51-all when the Trojans went on a 6-2 run to take a 58-53 advantage with just over eight minutes to go in regulation.
The Trojans still led 63-58 at the 5:52 mark but the Bulldogs used a 5-0 spurt, capped off by a huge 3-pointer by Beck to create a 63-all tie a little over a minute later. As the case most of the night, Virginia State answered with back-to-back field goals only to see Bowie State drill another triple to knot the score at 69.
With 1:19 remaining, Beck made one of two free throws to give Bowie State their first lead of the night at 70-69. Virginia State’s Tyrece Little had a chance to give the lead back to the Trojans, but missed the second of two free throws.
VSU’s Lamar Kearse was able to put the home team back on top at 72-70.
BSU’s Williams created some space while dribbling and drove hard to the basket to score a layup to tie the contest for the 10th time, this time at 72 with 25.8 seconds on the clock.
Following a Bowie State timeout, Virginia State put the ball in the hands of Kearse but he missed an off-balance jumper from the right elbow as time expired in regulation.
Bowie State’s Jackson scored first in the overtime period to give the Bulldogs a 74-72 advantage they would not relinquish.
Five Virginia State players scored in double figures with Kearse leading the way with 20 points. Leary added 17 points while Te-Quan Alers tallied 14 points. Little chipped in 11 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and Tyler Peterson.
Peterson had a chance to send the game into double overtime but missed the second of two free throws with 0.4 seconds remaining in the game.