- The Washington Times - Friday, March 28, 2003

LAKELAND, Fla. Bowie State coach Luke D'Alessio took his five senior starters off the floor last night so they could be acknowledged by the Bulldogs' large contingent of fans. Two minutes later, their college careers came to an end.
Kentucky Wesleyan advanced to its sixth consecutive title game with an 84-64 victory over Bowie State in the NCAA Division II men's semifinals. The Bulldogs finished their remarkable season at 30-5.
Kentucky Wesleyan (31-3) was led by seniors Eugene Dabney (28 points) and Marlon Parmer (24 points, nine rebounds and eight assists).
"We did the best we could. We worked hard and never gave up," D'Alessio said. "If you want to beat Kentucky Wesleyan, you've got to be able to score points against them. They have their program in place. We're still growing ours."
Both teams played well in an even first half that featured nine ties. Bowie State trailed 39-36 at halftime, with center Jon Smith and swingman Stephen Moss-Kelley carrying the load on offense.
The first three minutes of the second half, however, were a completely different story as Kentucky Wesleyan made six of its first seven shots to push the lead to 53-43.
"I thought our defense played well except for the first five or six minutes of the second half," D'Alessio said. "If we could have stopped them then, I think we could have got a little cushion, but it never happened. We missed some shots we normally make."
For the second game in a row, the Bulldogs were not able to establish their inside game early because one of their the post players was in foul trouble. Senior Tim Washington picked up his fourth foul early in the second half and fouled out with 8:08 remaining.
Washington, who had scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the first half of the previous game, scored just two points in the first half and nine overall in 23 minutes.
"I feel like I was at a disadvantage with the refs because every time I put the ball on the floor, it was a charge," Washington said. "Everyone flops on me."
When Washington sat down after the fourth personal, the Bulldogs trailed 53-45. Then Dabney, a 6-foot-10 center, took over, and Kentucky Wesleyan expanded its lead to 61-47.
By the time D'Alessio put Washington back in, only 11 minutes remained and the Bulldogs were not able to close the deficit.
Moss-Kelley led Bowie State with 15 points. Smith and Cornelius McMurray added 12 each.
"To beat Kentucky Wesleyan, you have to play at a certain level the whole time, not just part of the time," D'Alessio said. "And we didn't do it the whole time."

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