Morrisville State earns first trip to Round of 8, dispatches Stockton
AMHERST, Mass. -- Morrisville State made another move Friday night, bouncing No. 22 Richard Stockton from the NCAA tournament to advance to the national quarterfinals for the first time in college history by an 88-81 final.
The Mustangs had four post double figures on the night, including a combined 63 points from its senior guard trio. Jailaan Kinsey and Brandon Hanks each tallied 22 points to lead the Morrisville State charge, while fellow guard Jordan Prior added 19.
Sherard King came off the bench to add 10, while teammate Kucjok Ater controlled the glass for the Mustangs with a team high seven rebounds. Ater's first rebound of the night broke the all-time mark established from 2006-09 by forward Joseph McCants (614).
Morrisville State needed to come out firing on all cylinders as the Osprey's carried hot shooting from two opening rounds into Friday's game, and they did just that. The Mustangs hit 31 of 50 from the floor (62.0 percent), 9 of 16 from beyond the arc (56.3 percent), and converted 17 of 23 from the free-throw line (73.9 percent).
Richard Stockton got a game high 28 points from John Blamon, who also collected a best nine rebounds, while teammate Rich Suhr added 13 points to round out the leaderboard in the losing effort.
The Ospreys went 50 percent from the floor on 32 of 64 attempts, and converted 12 of 15 free throws (80.0 percent) but struggled from long range as they only hit 5 of 19 attempts (26.3 percent).
Richard Stockton opened quick and early as it built up a 11-2 lead at one point in the opening minutes before Morrisville State found its offensive rhythm and chipped away at the lead.
The Mustangs took their first lead of the contest late in the opening half, and headed in to the locker room with a 40-38 lead.
Morrisville State led by as many as 10 with 8:06 to go before the Osprey's put together a 7-0 run during the next minute to make it a three-point game with just more than seven minutes showing on the clock.
Hanging within single digits, Richard Stockton tied the game for the 10th time on the night as James Williams converted two free throws with 1:18 remaining.
Prior regained the lead for the Mustangs with a jumper just inside the top of the key, but it was a block by Tom Wilk that led to a foul on Kinsey that sent him to the line where he hit two that gave Morrisville State the momentum to put the game away down the stretch.
Richard Stockton attempted to make it a two-point game with a drive into the paint, but the ball rolled off the rim and into the hands of Ater who dished it to King who was sent to the line for two. King converted both free throws for the 86-80 lead with 21 ticks remaining, before Prior sealed the win with two more eight seconds later to send the Mustangs to the next round.