Cougars Shoot Past Bluefield
Bluefield (3-4), which was led by Rob Wright with 20 points, played without 6-foot-7 Byron Carpenter, who is out with a knee injury, and high-scoring Borgia M'bala, who is in his native France for his sister's wedding.

Cougars Shoot Past Bluefield

November 27, 2010 | RSS


 Bluefield Daily Telegraph


The 2010 Rams lost to Mountain State 87-69 in game 1 of the Currence Classic.

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Bob Bolen has lots of memories of Bluefield State.


"I enjoyed playing here, I enjoyed playing for coach (Terry) Brown," said Bolen, a 1986 graduate of Bluefield State. "We had winning seasons all three years here and I really enjoyed my time here."


His latest venture to Ned Shott Gymnasium was also enjoyable, an 87-69 win over Bluefield College in the first game of the Currence Classic on Friday night.


Jamar Board scored 28 points, and Tay Spann added 16 points and 12 rebounds, as the Cougars (5-0) used a 13-0 first half run to build an 11-point halftime lead, and pushed the margin to as much as 24.


"I'll tell you what, Bluefield really played with a lot of intensity and didn't have their two best players," Bolen said. "We didn't play very well, but I will give Bluefield credit for playing that way without their two best players."


Bluefield (3-4), which was led by Rob Wright with 20 points, played without 6-foot-7 Byron Carpenter, who is out with a knee injury, and high-scoring Borgia M'bala, who is in his native France for his sister's wedding.


"That left us a little depleted, but we still worked hard," said Bluefield head coach Richard Morgan, whose Rams are 3-2 since a 41-point exhibition loss to King. "It was a much better effort this time than the last time I talked to you after the King game."


Still, Morgan was pleased with the effort of his Rams, who were knotted in a 30-30 tie in the opening half with one of the top NAIA Division I teams in the country. The 18-point loss was an improvement over last year's 99-71 loss to the Cougars.


"We are getting there little by little, but I think we have some areas we have to get better in," Morgan said. "Overall, I am very, very pleased with the effort this year versus last year losing 99 or whatever it was, I think it was (by) 30.


"It doesn't matter, we still lost this game, but I can get something out of that and piece it together and I think we will be better in the long run."


Nine lead changes and five ties highlighted the opening 14 minutes, with Wright scoring 18 points in the opening half, while Board had 10 for the Cougars. Mountain State's had the definite size advantage, with 7-1 David Nyarsuk and 7-8 Paul Sturgess. Bluefield countered with 7-0 Egor Shakhmetov.


Nyarsuk, from Sudan, who originally signed with West Virginia, had four points and four rebounds, while Sturgess had two points. Shakhmetov, a freshman from Russia, had six points and three boards.


"We didn't use (the size) to our advantage at all, we threw it in there the first three plays of the game and we came away with zero points and they were exposing us on the perimeter," Bolen said.


It was a short layup by Sturgess that started a 13-0 run, pushing the margin to 13. The Cougars still led by 11 at the break, and Bluefield never got any closer than nine in the second half.


"We told them it was going to be a game of runs," Morgan said. "Last year we let them get way out and we could never catch up, but we won the second half last year.


"I told them if we just hang around we will be all right, but that is a very, very good basketball team and he does a good job with them. We are still building and we are going to get better."


Board, a transfer from Alderson-Broaddus wasn't shy about shooting, scoring 18 points after the break, finishing with five of the Cougars' 11 3s.


"He is a great shooter," Bolen said. "He works hard, he shot the ball well."


Mountain State, which won the national title in 2004, and were national runner-up in '03 and '08, has several Division I transfers, including Spann (Georgetown), who had 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Wiggins (Connecticut), who had a team-leading seven assists.


Ryan Washington added eight points, seven boards and three steals, and Mark Williams scored 10.


Mountain State outrebounded Bluefield 54-37.


Bolen has the makings of another championship caliber team, but he's still not sure what he has just yet.


"There are just so many new faces and we are trying to play together right now with all these faces," Bolen said. "It has been difficult, but we were glad to come out with the win."


Bluefield, which also received 11 points and eight rebounds by Marcus Jackson, returns to action tonight in the Currence Classic against Concord at 6 p.m. Dmitry Zimin added eight points, and Jonathan Dula and Jewuan Wynn had seven apiece.


"We competed," Morgan said. "That is the main thing we wanted to get out of this is to compete and now we will get ready for Concord tomorrow."


Mountain State will meet Bluefield State, a club the Cougars defeated earlier this season, using a late run to finish with the 85-56 win.


'It wasn't an easy game with them in Beckley so I know they will be ready to play," Bolen said. "They've got big men that can step out on the perimeter and play so we know it is going to be a tough challenge."



at Ned Shott Gymnasium




Doug Wiggins 1-5 1-2 4, Jamar Board 7-19 9-11 28, Mantas Drungys 0-1 0-0 0, Tay Spann 6-11 3-4 16, David Nyarsuk 2-9 0-2 4, Mark Williams 2-4 4-4 10, Ryan Washington 3-5 2-3 8, Winston Robinson 2-3 1-2 6, Josh Waimsley 1-2 2-2 4, Vedran Zivic 1-3 2-4 5, Paul Sturgess 1-1 0-0 2, Kevin Timmons 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-63 24-34 87.




Edric Folden 0-5 0-0 0, Rob Wright 6-16 6-6 20, Ted O'Boute 2-5 0-0 4, Carlton Shumake 0-1 0-0 0, Egor Shakhmetov 3-7 0-0 6, Brian Daniels 1-5 1-1 3, Dmitry Zimin 1-5 5-7 8, Melvin Henderson 1-4 0-0 3, Alvin Board 0-0 0-0 0, Jonathan Dula 2-6 2-2 7, Marcus Jackson 4-6, 0-0 11, Jewuan Wynn 3-7 0-2 7. Totals 23-67 14-18 69.


Halftime: MS 50-39. 3-point goals: MS 11-33 (Board 5-15, Williams 2-4, Spann 1-4, Wiggins 1-3, Zivic 1-3, Robinson 1-2, Waimsley 0-1, Drungys 0-1); BC 9-34 (Jackson 3-4, Wright 2-9, Henderson 1-4, Dula 1-4, Zimin 1-3, Wynn 1-3, Folden 0-3, O'Boute 0-2, Shumake 0-1, Daniels 0-1). Reb: MS 54 (Spann 12); BC 37 (Jackson 8). Ast: MS 17 (Wiggins 7); BC 8 (Zimin 2, Henderson 2). Total fouls: MS 20; BC 22. Fouled out: Williams, O'Boute. Technicals: Williams, Bluefield bench. Att: n/a.