Charlotte, N.C. (BSU Athletics) – The Bowie State University men’s basketball team held off a late charge from Livingstone University to record their second upset victory of the CIAA Tournament in as many days, defeating second seed Livingstone College, 71-69 in the semi-finals Friday evening at the Spectrum Center.
The fourth seeded Bulldogs advance to Saturday’s championship game and will play the winner of tonight’s second semi-final game between Virginia State University and Fayetteville State University. Bowie State improves to 15-14. Livingstone finishes the season at 11-17.
Michael Briscoe (Waldorf, Md.) and Ahmaad Wilson (Baltimore, Md.) combined to score 42 points for Bowie State. Briscoe knocked down a career-high 24 points on 10-17 shooting and also had a game high six steals. Wilson scored 18 points.
Roger Ray (Raleigh, N.C.) led Livingstone with 17 points. David Duncan (Washington, D.C.) added 11 points and a game-high 19 rebounds.
Bowie State fell behind early courtesy of a 12-2 flourish by Livingstone, giving the Blue Bears a 20-8 lead. Five straight points for the Bulldogs closed the gap to 20-13 before Livingstone pushed the lead back up to double figures at 25-15 at the 8:21 mark. After a media timeout Bowie State began to chip away at the Livingstone lead, taking advantage of eight Blue Bear turnovers to produce a 22-7 outburst to close out the first half and take a 37-32 lead at the break.
Briscoe paced the Bulldogs in the first half with 12 points while Dayshawn Wells (Baltimore, Md.) added eight. Samuel McClendon (Detroit, Mich.) had eight points for the Blue Bears.
Turnovers played a big role in the momentum shift in the first half as Bowie State took full advantage of 16 Livingstone turnovers, leading to 24 of their 37 points. Bowie State also recorded a better shooting percentage, making 46.9% (15-32) of their shots in the first half while Livingstone shot 40.9% (9-22) from the field.
Duncan made two consecutive baskets to open the second half for Livingstone, cutting the Bowie State lead to one 37-36. Bowie State continued to apply the defensive pressure, forcing six more turnovers leading to a 13-6 flourish and a 50-42 lead with 12:01 remaining. Briscoe’s three-point field goal at the 9:24 mark gave Bowie State its largest lead at 55-46.
Livingstone then began to chip away at the Bowie State lead, scoring six straight points, capped by Ray’s traditional three-point play to make it a one possession game at 55-52. The two teams exchanged baskets over the next several possessions until Ray stole the ball and took it the length of the court for a layup to pull Livingstone within one at 62-61. After a defensive stop, LC’s Desmond Stanback (Springdale, Md.) got the ball down low and drove in for a layup, giving the Blue Bears a 63-62 lead with 4:30 left, capping off a 17-7 flourish.
Briscoe’s three point field goal with 1:54 left put Bowie State back on top at 68-67. Wilson then connected on three of four free throws in the final 12.1 seconds to secure the upset victory 71-69, Bowie State’s second in two days.
Livingstone shot 52% from the field in the second half to finish the game shooting 46.8% (22-47) and also shot 91.7% (22-24) from the free throw line. Their solid shooting percentages were offset by a season-high 30 turnovers leading to 34 points off turnovers by Bowie State and a 34-14 advantage in points off turnovers. Bowie State shot 43.1% for the game (25-58) from the field and 62.5% (15-24) from the free throw line. Livingstone also outrebounded Bowie State 42-24.