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Bowie State loses to Virginia Union in overtime


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Photo by Daniel Kucin. Oxon Hill native Ray Gatling, center, finished the game with 13 points and two assists.

Photo by Daniel Kucin. Oxon Hill native Ray Gatling, center, finished the game with 13 points and two assists.

Published on: Thursday, January 31, 2013

By Daniel Kucin

The Bowie State Bulldogs have arguably the best forward in the conference, but his efforts could not get his team over the hump as they lost 85-83 to Virginia Union in overtime.

Byron Westmorland scored 22 points with six assists by games’ end. It was a team effort collectively against Bowie State in the first quarter, as Virginia Union put down 15 points off of the bench. But, the Bulldogs looked like they were going to blowout the Panthers with a 14-point lead going into halftime.

However, Virginia Union had other plans in mind, and the Panthers charged back into the game with 13 second-chance points that led to 32 points scored in the paint. Cordero Holt led the Panthers in scoring with 21 points, and three of his teammates also scored in double figures.

Virginia Union finally regained the lead with one minute remaining in the fourth quarter. Wesley Simmons drained one of his free-throws to give his team the one point advantage, 72-71.

Photo by Daniel Kucin. Byron Westmorland, left, led the Bulldogs with 22 points. He also hit a 3-point shot to send his team to overtime.

Photo by Daniel Kucin. Byron Westmorland, left, led the Bulldogs with 22 points. He also hit a 3-point shot to send his team to overtime.

After both teams traded free-throws at the line, Oxon Hill native Ray Gatling pulled down a pivotal offensive rebound for the Bulldogs with only 12 seconds remaining. Down by three points, Westmorland spotted up near Bowie State’s sideline and drained the long-range jumper over three defenders to tie the game.

“He makes big shots, he carries us, he is our emotional leader as well as our scoring leader,” Bowie State head coach Darrell Brooks said. “Every time there is a crucial time, I went flat for him because I trusted him. That is what he has done for us all year.”

Despite having an uplifting experience, Bowie State started off slow in overtime. Virginia Union took little time to obtain its largest lead of the game and went on a 6-0 scoring run. With 22 seconds remaining in overtime, Westmorland was fouled by Te’ Quan Alters and sent to the line for two shots.

He nailed both to tie the game at 83-83. Virginia Union hustled down court to work the clock for a final shot opportunity, and Calvin Brown silenced the crowd with a game-winning shot to give his team its fourth win of the season. Bowie State started off the game strong, but the Bulldogs were outperformed in the second half. The Bulldogs now drop to a 7-10 record.

“It was our lack of defense especially in the second half,” Brooks said. “We never keep them out of the paint, and when we missed they had second chance shots. We should have never been in that position. ... Obviously, we have to get back to the drawing board, and we have to get better at boxing out and better at getting stops at crucial times.”

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