By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
For 34 of the 40 minutes of their game against the Glenville State College Pioneers, the Bluefield State Big Blues held the lead and it appeared that the Big Blues would win their first conference game in nearly two seasons. However, the Pioneers turned a 13-point deficit into a nine point WVAIC win 91-82 over Bluefield State, Thursday night at Ned Shott Gymnasium.
BSC scored the first bucket of the game and were energized and taking it to the Pioneers early-on. At the media time-out with 13:50 to play in the opening half, the Big Blues were on top 10-6. That lead grew.
A three and another bucket by Remar Brothers midway through the first half put BSC on top by eight, and Vincent Rogers’ three point play with 7:28 before halftime gave State an eight point advantage. Antione Bryant’s layup pushed the lead to 10 and a trey by Simeon Denny gave BSC a 35-22 lead with 4:15 left before halftime.
The Big Blues led 42-30 at the intermission.
Glenville began their comeback as they began the second half. Five minutes in the Bluefield State lead was only five points. Kevin Gray’s three, one of five for the night, brought the Pioneers to within two with 11 minutes to play, and D.J. Blanks’ floater in the lane midway through the final 20 minutes tied the game at 61.
“We didn’t come out in the second half and execute our game plan,” said BSC head coach Jamaal Jackson. “The fast break is how they got back in the game and we didn’t get back (to defend). We shot 57 percent from the free throw line, missed nine free throws and we lost by nine.”
Glenville State took its first lead of the evening at the 9:45 mark when Lamar Mallory stole the inbounds pass, took it to the basket and stuffed it through.
Rogers, who had been strong for BSC in the paint on both ends of the court, went to the bench with four fouls, and Glenville expedited their comeback.
“That’s how they got back in the game,” Jackson said. “We had no big to go to. He (Rogers) had 17 points in 21 minutes, they couldn’t stop him. Once he got out they went to that zone and we couldn’t knock down shots.”
State tied the game at 72 on Johnny Uhegwu’s trey with six minutes left, but Glenville went on a 10-1 run that virtually sealed the deal.
The Pioneers shot 61.5 percent in the second half, compared to 32 percent in the opening 20 minutes.
Rogers led BSC with 17 points and had five rebounds. Denny had 16, including four threes, along with five assists and Daven Morris tallied 15. Gary Martin had a team-high 10 rebounds.
Mallory led Glenville with 22 points, Gray had 19, Joe Ballard 14 and Blanks 12. Mallory had a game-high 15 boards.
Buefield State returns to the court Saturday at Fairmont State.