BOWIE – Forward Saiquan Jamison scored a team-high 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds while forward Kani Coles added 15 points and eight boards to help the Bowie State University (BSU) men’s basketball team sail to a 96-67 home conference win over Shaw University on Jan. 18.
Capitalizing on their size advantage and taking away their opponents’ 3-point shot were crucial factors in the win as the Bulldogs put on an offensive clinic along the way, shooting a season-high 54.4 percent from the field.
The last time the two met was Dec. 7, 2019, in C.C. Spaulding Gymnasium in Raleigh, N.C., and Shaw took Bowie State to overtime in a back-and-forth contest. The Bulldogs outscored the Bears 17-4 down the stretch to prevail, 100-87. This time around, however, BSU didn’t give Shaw any breathing room from tipoff, darting out to a 21-5 lead eight minutes into the game.
“For our guys, it was confidence-boosting that we kind of played to the level that we thought we could play. We’ve been trying to play this way all year,” BSU Head Coach Darrell Brooks said. “All in all, a really, really good team effort.”
When the Shaw hosted Bowie State about a month ago, the Bulldogs were down late in the game but used a press-trap to climb their way to a hard-fought overtime win, Brooks said, adding that he expected a “dogfight” when his team hosted Shaw.
“Guarding the 3-point line” was the difference this time around, he said.
“We didn’t do a good job of that in the first game, and we were still playing a lot of man in that game, so they (Shaw) were just driving the ball, drawing help, kicking and stepping into 3s,” Brooks said. “So today, like I said, we just did a much better job in our zone of guarding guys and finding them in the zone, so I’m really, really pleased with that.”
To begin the afternoon, Jamison knocked in an elbow jumper and added a few more buckets for Bowie State. Additionally, Coles started in his first game of the season and made an immediate impact to fuel Bowie State’s strong start.
The tallest player to check-in for Shaw was Nigel Martin, a 6-foot-5 guard. On the other hand, Jamison, Coles and Yohance Fleming – all listed at 6-foot-8 – protected the rim, rebounded and played vital roles inside for Bowie State.
The Bears’ offensive struggles and inability to guard the post because of their size disadvantage cost them big time all afternoon. Meanwhile, Bowie remained efficient in transition and half-court offensive sets to gradually build its lead to 44-15 at intermission.
For BSU, five players scored in double digits, posting a balanced offensive attack. On defense, the Bulldogs held the Bears to 5 of 30 shooting from the field in the first half.
“We stuck to the game plan,” Brooks said. “We wanted to drive it, or we wanted to post up, but we wanted to get the ball to the rim, and I thought, especially in the first half, we did a really, really good job of that.”
The second half was relatively the same. Although both squads tallied 52 points each in the second half, the Bulldogs were able to prevent Shaw from creeping back into the game, maintaining a 25 to 30-point lead throughout the latter portion of the afternoon and leading by as much as 38 at one point.
Shaw tried applying a full-court press, but Bowie State quickly broke through the defense for easy layups and dunks on the offensive end to breeze to a big win.
“Coach (Brooks) really emphasized today that we get the ball inside, finish inside because we knew they (Shaw) had the smaller team. That’s what we emphasized from the beginning,” said Jamison, a 6-foot-8 senior from Upper Marlboro.“For us to lock up and keep them to 15 points in the first half – that shows that we can be a really good defensive team.”
Outrebounding Shaw 48 to 32 was also a big plus for BSU.
Rinardo Perry scored 15, Cameron Hayes had 14 points and six rebounds, and Justin Route poured in 11 points as the Bulldogs improve to 11-8 overall and 3-3 in CIAA play.
Bowie State held Shaw to 33.3 percent shooting from the field and 18.5 percent shooting from behind the arc, an area that the Bears rely on frequently considering they’re a guard-heavy team.
Though the Bears (4-13, 1-8 CIAA) have the worst overall record in the conference and is on a nine-game losing streak, they lead the league in made 3-pointers (182 as of Jan. 20). Martin scored a game-high 25 and pulled down 15 boards for Shaw.
“I knew it would be a tough fight coming here,” Shaw Associate Head Coach Dominique Stephens said. “Being guard-oriented, we’re a stronger team when we make shots from outside. This game we only shot 18 percent from the 3-point line. We actually lead the league in 3-point percentage, and that seemed to be one of our weaknesses today.”
Bowie State will host St. Augustine’s in another conference match at A.C. Jordan Arena on Jan. 20 before heading to Pennsylvania to take on Lincoln University on Jan. 25.