By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
BLUEFIELD, Va. —
“People said we wouldn’t be able to play in this league. I know we can because our guys practice and prepare every day, hard.”
Those were the comments of Bluefield College men’s head basketball coach Richard Morgan following the Rams 96-89 victory over No. 3 Georgetown (Ky.), Thursday night in the first Mid South Conference game played by the Ramblin’ Rams. Bluefield was picked to finish last in the league by its coaches.
Trailing by 10 points in the game’s first seven minutes, Bluefield (2-1, 1-1 MSC) methodically worked its way back into the contest, going outside for threes from Kearsten Marion, then down low for buckets from Byron Carpenter. Thanks to a pair of treys by Andrew Wilson BC pulled to within two, 22-20 with 12:12 showing on the first half clock and Marion’s steal and lay-up knotted the contest at 22.
Devin Page’s basket down low gave Bluefield it’s first lead 26-24 and the Rams led for the remainder of the first half. Ron Moore’s trey with just under two minutes to go put BC up by seven and Deante Hallums’ basket in the paint allowed Bluefield to take a 49-40 lead into the intermission.
Georgetown (4-1, 0-1 MSC) came out in the second half with a different game plan. Instead of running and gunning, the Tigers took it down low to their big man, Deondre McWhorter, who scored the first three baskets of the second half to bring the Tigers close.
Bluefield kept its lead until the visitors tied the game at 57. Georgetown would also force ties at 61, 65 and 67 and the lead went back and forth until Bluefield forged ahead 84-81. The Rams went on a 6-0 run capped by a dunk by Devin Page to make it 90-81, at which time Georgetown called time.
The Rams capped the game at the free throw line and claimed the upset victory in the school’s first-ever Mid South Conference basketball game.
“It’s just unbelievable,” Morgan said. “Our guys just played so hard. We came out and played hard, stayed with it. I told them it was a game of runs, you’ve got to stay in the game because it can go one way, then it will go back the other way.”
Marion led BC with 26 points, including five treys, and Carpenter added 24. Wilson popped in 21 with five threes and Page contributed 13. Hallums cleared nine boards to lead the Rams in that category and Wilson and Marion each dished out five assists. Carpenter had three blocks.
Morgan said the pace of the game was important.
“We controlled the tempo. I think they got out and got runs late, but I think we still came back and made our free throws,” Morgan said. “We missed some at the end, but made the ones that counted.”
McWhorter led Georgetown with 30, Allan Thomas had 24, Mychal Parker 16 and Monty Wilson 14.
Morgan sees the win over Georgetown as one that will benefit the program in not only provide confidence to his players, but serve notice to the rest of the league.
“Hopefully this will give us energy to know we can play with everybody in this league. We’ve just got to be able to come out and play every night and take whatever they give us and try to run with it. Those are the things we have to do in order to win here at Bluefield.”
The Rams are in action again on Saturday, hosting St. Catharine in a Mid-South Conference game. Tipoff is at 4 p.m.