Friday, December 2, 2016

Morgan State Women’s Basketball To Meet Dayton For First Time On Friday

DAYTON, Ohio.-- The Morgan State women's basketball team will conclude its road trip this Friday night when it visits the Flyers of the University of Dayton in a non-conference game at 7 p.m. at UD Arena. It will be the first meeting between the two teams.

BEAR CLAWS: Morgan State (1-5) enters the contest on a four-game losing, following a 62-43 loss on Wednesday afternoon at Marshall. Braennan Farrar scored a team-high 14 points and had a game-high three assists and Tykyrah Williams added 11 points, grabbed a team-best six rebounds and had a game-high four steals for the Lady Bears. Morgan State shot just 27.8 percent (15-of-54) for the game, including 2-of-17 (11.8 percent) from three-point range. The Thundering Herd finished the game shooting 18-of-40 45 percent) from the floor and knocked down 10-of-21 (47.6 percent) from beyond the arc. Morgan State forced 17 turnovers out of Marshall and had 10 steals. The Lady Bears held a 15-7 advantage in points off turnovers and outscored the taller Thundering Herd, 20-16 in the paint. Marshall would outrebound Morgan State, 39-29.

A LOOK AT THE FLYERS: Dayton (2-4) has dropped its last three games, including back-to-back losses to Georgia Tech (81-68) and Creighton (56-53), while competing in the Junkanoo Jam in Bimini Islands, Bahamas (Nov. 25-26). Jayla Scaife came off the bench and score a team-best 15 points, while Saicha Grant-Allen scored 12 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds in the loss to Creighton. Dayton has four players scoring in double figures with Jenna Burdette leading the way with 10.5 points per game. Scaife (10.4), Kelley Austria (10.3) and Lauren Cannatelli (10.2) are all averaging 10-plus points per game. Alex Harris leads the team with 10 blocks and 7.7 rebounds per outing and JaVonna Layfield is averaging 6.5 boards.   

MSU VS. DAYTON: This will be the first meeting between the two teams.

 Morgan State Notes | Dayton Notes |

NEXT UP: The Lady Bears will return to Baltimore to take on rival the University of Maryland Baltimore County on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. at RAC Arena.

FARRAR NAMED TO PLAZA LIGHTS ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Braennan Farrar was named to the Plaza Lights All-Tournament team (Nov. 25-26). Farrar scored a combined 41 points, had five rebounds, six steals and four assists in two games. She finished with a game-high 26 points on 10-of-20 shooting and added three steals and an assist against host University of Missouri-Kansas City (11/26).

GETTING DEFENSIVE: Morgan has forced 128 opponent turnovers in six games, with 75 of them coming by way of steals. In the win against Washington Adventist, the Lady Bears forced a season-high 31 turnovers, a season-high 21 of them were steals. Morgan State converted those turnovers into a season-best 33 points.

DAVIS BACK IN THE WIN COLUMN: It took interim head coach Edward Davis just two games to earn his first victory as the coach of Morgan State, when the Lady Bears defeated Washington Adventist (11/17). The win marked the first for Davis since he recorded a 55-53 victory over South Carolina State in the season finale on March 1, 2012, in his final season as the head coach at Delaware State.

SHOW ME STATE HOMECOMING: The Lady Bears' Missouri trip last week marked the homecoming of two Lady Bear junior guards and St. Louis natives, Braennan Farrar (Clyde C. Miller Career Academy) and Tayler Williams (Metro Academic & Classical Academy). It also marked the return to the Show Me State for two of Morgan State's coaching staff. Associate head coach Wanika Owsley played collegiately for Southeast Missouri State, while assistant coach, Brittany Dodson, who is a native of St. Louis and played at Metro Academic & Classical Academy.

BACK ON THE SIDELINE: Morgan State interim head coach Edward Davis, returns to the sideline for the 2016-17 campaign as the head man, after spending the last four seasons as an assistant coach with the Lady Bears. Davis, who last served as a head coach in 2012 to conclude 12 season's at the helm of Delaware State, currently is in his 21st season and has a career record of 350-241.

PUTTING THE CLAMPS DOWN: The Lady Bears' defense held the visiting Shock of Washington Adventist (11/17) to just three points in the second quarter and nine for the entire first half. The three points scored by WAU were the lowest points output in a quarter by a Morgan State opponent since the NCAA went to the quarter system in the women's game. The nine total points in the first half, were the lowest since Morgan State held rival Coppin State to 13 first half points on Dec. 14, 2010.

STILL UNBEATEN: The Lady Bears entered the season with a perfect record against just one of this season's opponents in Washington Adventist. Morgan State remained unbeaten against the Shock, improving to 3-0, following a 79-28 victory in its home opener (Nov. 17). Last season the Lady Bears defeated WAU, 74-36 in the home and season opener on Nov. 15, 2015 in Baltimore.

MORGAN PICKED FIFTH IN MEAC: Morgan State was picked to finish fifth in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) preseason poll, as voted by the league's head coaches and sports information directors. Last year, the Lady Bears were picked to finish ninth, but put together an 13-17 overall mark and finished 10-6 in the MEAC to finish fifth.

FARRAR NAMED TO PRESEASON MEAC SECOND TEAM: MSU junior guard Braennan Farrar was named to the Preseason All-MEAC second team. A native of St. Louis, Mo., Farrar was second on the team in scoring (13.7), while leading the Lady Bears in assists (98), steals (63), three-pointers made (46), while shooting a team-best .794 (104-131) from the free throw line. This is the second consecutive preseason second-team All-MEAC honor for Farrar, who last season was named to the 2015-16 All-MEAC second team at the conclusion of the season.

OWSLEY NAMED ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH: Wanika Owsley was promoted to associate head coach this October by interim head coach Ed Davis. Owsley, who is in her second stint at Morgan State, enters her sixth season overall with the Lady Bears' program. Owsley had previously spent the 2009-10 season at Morgan State, where she helped the Lady Bears to a 17-13 and then school-best third-place regular season finish in the MEAC. She returned to Morgan State. during the 2012-13 campaign after spending two seasons as an assistant coach on the Mississippi State women's staff. A native of Indianapolis, Ind., Owsley earned a degree in computer science from Southeast Missouri State, where she helped the Redhawks to a 46-16 overall record and their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance during her senior season.

MORGAN IN SEASON OPENERS: The Lady Bears fell to 11-29 all-time in season openers dating back to 1977, following its 65-50 road loss to Mount St. Mary's (11/15/16). Morgan State at one point had lost 23 straight season openers, prior to winning three straight from 2006-08. Last season the Lady Bears opened up the season at home and defeated Washington Adventist by a score of 74-36 (11/15/15).

GRAHAM RETURNS AS ASSISTANT COACH: Morgan State interim head coach Ed Davis completed his coaching staff with the hiring of Donchez Graham as an assistant coach. Graham is no stranger to Morgan State, as this will be his second stint with the Lady Bears and fifth season overall. Graham returns to Morgan after spending the past two year (2014-16) as the head basketball trainer at Project Rising and the head coach of Team Adidas Shooting Stars. He also had stints as assistant coach at both West Virginia University and the University of Charleston. During his first stint at Morgan State (2005-09), Graham helped the Lady Bears to 53 victories in four seasons, while reaching the 2007 MEAC title game in his second season and the 2008 WNIT, the program's first postseason invitation on the Division I level, in his third season.  

REMATCH: The Lady Bears have four rematch games this season against non-conference opponents from the 2015-16 schedule. Those opponents are Washington Adventist, Missouri-Kansas City, University of Maryland Baltimore County and Brown. Last season Morgan State went 1-3 against those opponents with its lone win coming over Washington Adventist. 

TOURNAMENT EXPOSURE: Six of Morgan's 2016-17 opponents reached postseason play last season. Two opponents reached the 2016 Women's NCAA Tournament (Robert Morris and defending MEAC Tournament champion, North Carolina A&T). Three competed in the 2016 Women's National Invitational Tournament (Saint Louis, Marshall and MEAC foe Bethune-Cookman), while one (UMBC) took part in the Women's Basketball Invitational.  


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