Morgan State Basketball
Photo: Lawrence Johnson

BALTIMORE, Md. – Troy Baxter had a game-high 25 points and Lagio Grantsaan scored 22 points, and Morgan State finished with a win to beat Iona 83-72 in the first meeting between the teams since 2001.

It marked Morgan State’s first win against the Gaels in six tries. Iona leads the all-time series 5-1.

Malik Miller chipped in 11 points with six rebounds and De’Torrion Ware came off the bench to score nine points.

Defensively, the Bears held Iona to 46.6 percent (27-58) shooting from the field and 6-of-25 shooting from beyond the arc. Morgan also scored 28 points off of 18 turnovers by the Gaels.

Baxter led Morgan State (2-1) shooting 7 for 17 from the field, 5 for 8 from 3-point territory and he hauled down seven rebounds. Grantsaan scored 17 of his 22 points (8-9 FG) in the first half, including five 3-pointers.

Grantsaan opened the game by hitting a 3-pointer and an Iona turnover led to a fastbreak layup by Trevor Moore to give the Bears an early 7-0 lead with 17:03 left in the first half.

Iona (1-2) went just over 5 minutes without a point before Berrick JeanLouis finished off a two-handed slam to put the Gaels on the scoreboard. Grantsaan answered with a 3-pointer from the top of the key to put the Bears up 12-2 at the 14:45 mark.

The Gaels were held to just a single basket to open the first eight minutes of action and started the game shooting just 1-of-8 from the field.

Grantsaan’s hot shooting continued when he buried his third 3-pointer of the half to give the Bears a commanding 17-4 advantage.

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Ross completed a 4-point play after being fouled on a 3-pointer to trim the Bears lead to 17-8 with 10:56 left in the half. Ross hit a pull-up jumper in the lane to cut the lead to 17-10.

The Gaels trailed 23-16 with 7:49 in the first half. Grantssan hit his fifth 3-pointer to extend the lead to 26-16.

Ross scored on a 3-point play to end a 3 minute field goal drought by the Gaels to trail 26-20. JeanLouis scored on a fastbreak as part on an 11-5 run to cut the lead to 28-24.

Iona tied the contest at 33-33 on a baseline jumper by Nelly Joseph (6pts, 5 rebs).

The Gaels took its first lead of the game at 38-35 when a turnover in the backcourt led to a 3-pointer by Tahlik Chavez. The lead was brief as Baxter answered with a 3-pointer of his own and the teams went into the intermission tied at 38-38.

Morgan State started the second half with a run-out dunk by Baxter and he hit a deep, contested 3-pointer as part of a 7-2 spurt to give the Bears a 47-42 lead with 15:58 left.

Ware completed a 3-point play and Baxter canned a step-back 3-pointer to give the Bears a 10-point cushion at 56-46 at the 13:46 mark. It was part of a 15-4 run by the Bears over a 5-minute stretch.

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The Bears held a 67-57 lead before Baxter reeled off six straight points, including his sixth 3-pointer of the night to push the lead to 73-57. Morgan’s lead balloned to as many as 19 points when Miller hit a pair of free throws to push the lead to 80-61 with 3 minutes left to go. The Bears would go on to cruise to its second win of the season.

Morgan shot 48.1 percent (25-52) for the game, including a season-high of 57.9 percent (11-of-19) from 3-point territory.

Berrick JeanLois paced the Gaels with 15 points and Ryan Myers added 10.

Isaiah Ross, who entered the game ranked No. 3 in the nation in scoring (28 ppg), saw a lot of defensive attention by the Bears. The senior guard was held to 12 points, including just two points in the second half.

Up Next:
Morgan State host Bellarmine on Sunday, Dec. 13.

Courtesy: Morgan State Athletics


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