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Morgan State Knocks Off S.C. State To Grab Second Straight MEAC Title

Winston-Salem, NC (Sports Network) - Kevin Thompson paced the Bears with 18 points and 12 rebounds, and Morgan State captured its second straight Mid- Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament title with a 68-61 win over South Carolina State at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Reggie Holmes added 17 points and Dewayne Jackson chipped in 12 for the NCAA Tournament-bound Bears (27-9), who have won eight of nine since losing to SCSU on February 15, its lone conference loss this season.

Khalif Toombs scored 15 points, while Jason Flagler and Darnell Porter each had 12 for the third-seeded Bulldogs (18-14), who were vying for their first conference title since 2003.

A Porter three-pointer in the early stages of the second half gave South Carolina State its last lead, 32-31.

Morgan State answered with a 13-2 run, as a Thompson jumper put the Bears in front 44-34 with under 11 1/2 minutes left.

The Bulldogs had their deficit down to six on several occasions, the last occurring with 32 seconds left after two Toombs free throws made it 65-59.

Jackson then hit 1-of-2 free throws, and both Toombs and Porter missed three- pointers the next time down to end SC State's hopes for a tournament appearance.

Holmes and Jackson each hit three-pointers near the midway point of the first half to put Morgan State on top 15-7.

A 12-0 run by the Bulldogs a little later, capped by two Brandon Smalls free throws, had the Bears down, 21-20, but the conference's top seed ended the half on a 7-1 spurt, with a Jackson three-pointer yielding a 29-24 lead.

Morgan State, which spilt the regular season series against SC State, lost to Oklahoma in the first round of last year's Big Dance by 28 points...The Bulldogs were in the conference finals for the first time since 2003...Troy Smith had 10 points for Morgan State