Despite shooting just 26 percent (8 of 31) in the first half, the Pirates (5-11, 2-1 MEAC) stayed in the game by going a perfect 14 of 14 from the line (31 of 36 overall). The Bears led by 13 late in the first half, but with what Morgan State coach Todd Bozeman called a silent run bridging the end of the first half and the start of the second, the Pirates got back into the game. Deron Powers, who had another double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds, made two free throws, and then Ramon Mercado stole an inbounds pass and converted a 3-pointer to cut the Bears' lead to 42-33 at intermission. Powers then made a 3-pointer to start the second half, cutting the Bears' lead to six. "That's the little silent run that you don't see in the game and in the notes," Bozeman said. "But that's what it was. I was concerned just because (Hampton) had momentum coming into the half. On offense we were moving the ball, we were playing with energy and we should have been up by a lot more considering the way we shot the ball, and they didn't shoot the ball that great." The Bears shot a blistering 55 percent (17 of 31) from the field in the first half, as the Pirates couldn't buy much from the field, with Jackson leading the charge. Jackson started the game for the Bears on the bench for undisclosed disciplinary reasons according to Bozeman, but still nearly reached his average with 14 points in the first half alone. "It was a big game for him," Bozeman said. "He played well for us tonight. We need him to rebound. We need him to be active and rebound and not just score points, but defend and rebound and block shots. He has that ability, and at 6-feet-8, he can guard anybody. He's a valuable piece for us, for sure." Besides Jackson's output, the Bears (5-9, 2-1 MEAC) got 13 points from Anthony Hubbard, 12 points from Justin Black and 10 points from 7-foot-2 center Ian Chiles. But after a Du'Vaughn Maxwell dunk and two technical free throws from Williams, the Pirates took a 55-53 lead with 12:20 left and held it for much of the second half. "I didn't panic, because we were getting some shots, and I knew we would get opportunities," Bozeman said. "So I wasn't worried about not getting shots. We were getting shots. I was just worried about not getting stops on them. We had to handle their pick-and-roll." The Pirates used the pick-and-roll to good effect, making nine of their first 14 second-half shots, but after the Bears adjusted to it by inserting a smaller lineup, the Pirates went 3 of 11 the rest of the way. "Our size helped us in the first half ... (but) they got a rhythm going in the second half, and that's what you don't want to have," Bozeman said. "We had to adjust to it." Chiles, who disrupted the Pirates' rhythm early, reentered the game and made a layup with 1:11 remaining to put the Bears back on top 79-77. Each team made a free throw, setting the stage for Williams and his last-gasp, long-range 3-pointer, which hit off the side of the rim. Power was aggressive in going to the basket, especially in the first half, going a perfect 10 of 10 from the line and 12 of 13 overall. Emmanuel Okoroba added 15 points while Williams added 13. "We started off flat, and I think we recovered from that, and we had several opportunities to win that ball game, and we didn't convert them," said Pirates coach Ed Joyner, Jr. "We bounced back and made the plays to get us back into the lead." The Pirates were abysmal from the field in the first half, as the Bears' Chiles altered numerous shots. "They've got a kid up under there who's 7-foot-2, so it's going to be something different," Joyner said. The hot-shooting Bears led by as many as 13 points after Blake Bozeman made a 3-pointer with 1:11 left in the half. The silent run then got the Pirates back in the game, and the pick-and-roll got them the lead, but they couldn't make the plays late to hold on, making uncharacteristically bad ones they hadn't been making during their three-game winning streak, Joyner said. "We just have to bounce back and get ready for Monday," Joyner said.
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