BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Bethune-Cookman had its basketball season come to an end with an 81-72 loss to Morgan State University in the semifinals of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) tournament on March 8.
The Morgan Bears shot 57 percent from the field and scored 48 points in the paint.
“It took us a while to adjust to how big and physical they were. Their inside scoring was the difference in the game,” said B-CU head coach Gravelle Craig.
The Wildcats finished the 2012-13 campaign with a 14-20 record and were hoping for a third straight appearance in the MEAC tournament title game.
Kevin Dukes had 20 points and Ricky Johnson scored 18 points to lead B-CU. Shaquille Duncan had 17 points with three blocks to lead Morgan. The Bears also got 16 points apiece from Justin Black and Dewayne Jackson.
North Carolina A&T State University topped the fifth-seeded Bears to win the MEAC tournament and earned the automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.
B-CU upsets Norfolk
Two days earlier the Wildcats pulled off a 70-68 overtime win to shock the top seeded Norfolk State University Spartans in the quarterfinals.
The Spartans had gone undefeated in conference play (16-0) in the regular season.
“We played them 10 days ago and lost, but we could have won that game. We knew that we could play with them. We knew that it would be a challenge,” said Craig.
Adrien Coleman posted 24 points with 13 rebounds to lead B-CU in that game.
The Wildcats were able to get out in transition and shot 59 percent from the floor.
Dukes and Paul Scotland also added 11 points apiece for B-CU. Pendarvis Williams had 19 points, Kris Brown 15 and Rashid Gaston 12 for the Spartans.
Baseball: Wildcats drop series to Aggies
On the diamond, the Wildcats dropped two of three games to MEAC rival North Carolina A&T this past weekend.
The Aggies took the first game of a double header 15-6 to open the series, but the Wildcats bounced back to take the second game by a score of 15-2.
For the day, David Lee was 4-for-7 with seven RBIs, Eros Modena 6-for-9 with two RBIs, Brandon Turner 5-for-8 with three RBIs and Josh Johnson tallied four RBI’s while Ali Simpson got his first win of the season on the mound for B-CU.
The Aggies (7-12, 3-3) took the series finale with a 9-6 win on Sunday. Shaun McCarthy went 3-for-4 with an RBI and Eric Sams 3-for-5 with an RBI for B-CU.
The Wildcats hosted South Florida on Wednesday, after the Daytona Times’ deadline.
B-CU (11-11, 6-3) travels to Kansas State for a three-game series from March 22-24 and to North Florida on March 26.
The Wildcats’ game with Stetson, which was rained out on Feb. 26, has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. April 8 at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in downtown Daytona Beach.
Track: Dunkley leads at Hurricane Invite
Kadian Dunkley (4:45.69) led the Bethune-Cookman women’s track and field performers by winning the 1,500-meter run at the Hurricane Invitational on the campus of the University of Miami.
Tristie Johnson (11.60s) finished second in the 200-meter dash while the women’s 4×100 relay team (Keyona Thomas, Apple Harris, Johnson and Shakira Garner/46.22s) took third for B-CU.
The Wildcats men were paced by Keron Stoute (6,069 points), who won the decathlon. Stoute won five events out of 10.
Barry Kimbrough (1490-08 ft) took second in the discus, Martin Embry (5,546 points) also finished third in the decathlon and La’Quan Howard 947-04.50 ft) was third in the triple jump for B-CU.
Overall, the Wildcats’ track and field program finished with 31 top 10 finishes.
“We had a great outing. We are definitely headed in the right direction,” commented Donald Cooper, B-CU’s head track and field coach.
B-CU will compete in the Florida State University relays in Tallahassee March 22-23.
Softball: Ladies struggling
The Lady Wildcats softball team is off to a slow start. They were swept in a double header by Cornell on Monday at the friendly compounds of Sunnyland Park in Daytona Beach.
Cornell led 6-0 en route to a 6-3 victory in the first game. Michelle Banuelos-Smith hit a two-run homerun and Wanda Darby scored on an error following a single by Aurelia Gamch for B-CU.
Cornell took the second game by a score of 7-3. Baneulos-Smith hit a two-run double and Shmaria Engram scored on a wild pitch for B-CU.
The Lady Wildcats have lost 11 consecutive games and are 3-22 on the season. They were to host Monmouth in a double header on Tuesday.
B-CU travels to Boca Raton for the Florida Atlantic University Invitational Tournament from March 22-24 and to Durham, N.C., from March 30-31 to face North Carolina Central to open MEAC Southern Division play.