Yesterday afternoon, Bowie State climbed nine spots in the Division II coaches' poll, jumping from 17th to eighth. Last night in Bowie, the Bulldogs put themselves in position to make another jump next week, but they didn't make it easy on themselves.
After squandering a 22-point second-half lead, going to overtime and then falling behind four times in the extra session, Bowie finally cemented a 95-94 win on a free throw by Isaiah Johnson with 1.5 seconds left.
The near-capacity crowd of 3,815 was ringing the court when sixth-ranked Virginia Union (18-3, 10-3 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association) drew even on two Quincy Smith free throws with 11 seconds left in overtime. Bowie junior point guard Kevin Bell then broke the Panthers' press and got the ball to Johnson, who drove and was fouled.
"I wanted to go to the basket, make the ref call it," Johnson said.
Six-foot-10 senior forward Letheal Cook, who leads the CIAA in points and rebounds and attracted several NBA scouts to last night's game, led Bowie (18-3, 9-2) with 29 points and 12 rebounds. Bell added 21 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists.
-- Dan Steinberg