BOWIE – Guard Cole VonHandorf and forward Kenzie Melko scored 20 points each while redshirt freshman guard Dale Bonner completed a double-double performance (14 points and 11 assists) as Fairmont State University defeated the Bowie State University men’s basketball team, 73-75, on Nov. 30.
The Falcons offense was hot from the start, shooting 60% from the field while nailing seven 3-pointers in the first half. While the Bulldogs did allow a high degree of Fairmont State shots to fall, the home team was able to keep Falcons at bay with a switch-heavy defense to corral their shooters. Their defensive effort helped Bowie State force 19 turnovers to score 18 points.
The Bulldogs defense allowed for consecutive crowd-pleasing moments from senior guard Cameron Hayes and redshirt senior guard David Belle, who finished with a game-high 23 points.
Senior Juwan Smith created the first play with a steal, raced down the court and delivered a long pass to Hayes for a layup. Moments later, Belle nearly mirrored the same play when he stole a Falcons’ hand-off pass before flushing a two-handed dunk to give the Bulldogs a 39-35 lead.
The Falcons trailing 39-38 after a back-and-forth first half.
However, the Falcons found their way to continue score after the halftime break following a Melko 3-pointer to reclaim the lead. Fairmont State’s advantage grew to as much as nine points when Bonner dazzled the crowd with a deft crossover and finishing at the rim for a layup. That did not deter the Bulldogs, who responded with a 7-1 run that closed the deficit to three points following a dunk by junior forward Kani Coles.
However, the Falcons continued to build their advantage, creating a nine-point lead with over three minutes remaining. The Bulldogs fought their way back once again and closed the deficit to 75-73 after Belle converted a physical layup with three seconds left.
That was as close as Bowie State got in the end, the Bulldogs failed to stop the subsequent inbound play after Bonner got the ball, allowing Fairmont State to run out the game clock.
Bowie State looks to rebound on a two-game road trip against St. Augustine’s University on Dec. 5 and Shaw University on Dec. 7. The Bulldogs return home on Dec. 12 to take on Johnson C. Smith University with the game taking place at Prince George’s Community College.