The Morgan State Bears will travel to the Beeghly Center to take on the Youngstown State Penguins this Wednesday night in the 1st round of The Basketball Classic.
The Morgan State Bears finished their regular season with an overall record of 13-14 and finished MEAC play with a 7-6 record. Morgan State earned the 4-seed in the MEAC Tournament and made it to the semifinals after defeating the South Carolina State Bulldogs by an 80-77 margin, however the Bears could reach the finals after being defeated by the 1-seed Norfolk State Spartans by a 72-63 margin. Morgan State went 5-7 in their non-conference schedule, however, only one of those victories came against a D-1 opponents when the Bears defeated the Hampton Pirates.
On the season, Morgan State is averaging 75.4 ppg on 43.9% shooting from the field. The Bears are averaging 6.4 three-pointers per game on 31.9% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Morgan State has been led by Malik Miller (12.5 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.6 spg), Lagio Grantsaan (10.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.3 apg), De’Torrion Ware (10.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.4 apg), & Isaiah Burke (8.6 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.5 spg).
Defensively, Morgan State is allowing their opponents to an average of 72.4 ppg on 43.8% shooting from the field. The Bears have a rebound margin of 0.6 and a turnover margin of 3.9 and a turnover margin of 3.9.
The Youngstown State Penguins finished their regular season with an overall record of 18-14 while finishing Horizon League play with 12-9 record. Youngstown State earned the 7-seed in the Horizon League Championship, however, could not get by the 1st round after being defeated by the Robert Morris Colonels by a 77-73 margin. Youngstown State finished their non-conference portion of their schedule with a 7-4 record, however, the Penguins struggled against the better competition they faced as they lost to both Penn State & West Virginia by a combined 46 points.
On the season, Youngstown State is averaging 72.8 ppg on 45.0% shooting from the field. The Penguins are averaging 7.7 three-pointers per game on 34.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Youngstown State has been led by Dwayne Cohill (14.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.0 spg), Michael Akuchie (13.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.5 apg), Tevin Olison (12.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.1 spg), & Shemar Rathan-Mayes (8.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 1.7 apg).
Defensively, Youngstown State is allowing their opponents to average 69.7 ppg on 44.0% shooting from the field. The Penguins have a rebound margin of 2.2 and a turnover margin of 0.2.
The Bears are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 Wednesday games, however, are just 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS loss. The Penguins are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 Wednesday games & 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
Morgan State has been led by their offense which ranks 64th in scoring offense, however, the defense has struggled a bit as the Bears rank just 263rd in scoring defense & 205th in defensive FG%. Youngstown State has also been led by their offense, which ranks 133rd in scoring offense & 121st in FG%, however, have also had some issues on the defensive end as they come into this matchup ranked 191st in scoring defense & 211th in defensive FG%.
Morgan State played well down the stretch, however, this is still a team that struggled with their non-conference schedule and come into this game with just a 3-8 road record. Youngstown State had a disappointing end to their season, however, as the Penguins won 12 games at home this season and has an offense that should be able to put up plenty of points in this one, I’m taking Youngstown State to cover this mid-range spread. Good Luck!