Morgan State suffered through atrocious foul shooting (7-for-19), unforced turnovers (17 in all) and a 14-point second half Wednesday, but the Bears still managed to pull out a 42-39 victory over Delaware State at Hill Field House on Wednesday night.
The victory, on Senior Night, moved Morgan (10-3) within a half-game of first-place Bethune-Cookman (11-3) in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference with three games to play. It was the Bears' fifth straight win in February and the 100th of the Todd Bozeman era at Morgan.
"You want to do it more efficiently, like we practice it, but I'll take the win," Bozeman said.
Delaware State (9-18, 5-9) had its own problems, shooting just 25 percent in the first half. But the Hornets cut a 13-point halftime deficit to 2 with 8:11 left in the game, playing its deliberate slowdown style.
"Typically, [the slowdown] does that," Bozeman said. "But that wasn't our issue. Our stuff was mental."
A free throw by Justin Black and a triple by Adam Braswell gave Morgan a 39-33 lead with 6:17 to play. Five minutes later, Black fed Kevin Thompson for a layup to make it 42-37, and that was all the Bears needed.
The Bears amassed a 42-24 rebounding advantage, led by Thompson (12) and Rodney Stokes (8), who was playing his final home game for Morgan. Braswell led the team with nine points on three triples.
Morgan finishes the regular season with three road games, starting this weekend at Norfolk State and North Carolina A&T before the traditional finale at Coppin State. If the Bears win out, they would win their fourth straight regular-season title.
"It definitely was ugly," Bozeman said. "I have to figure out how to relax my team."