There was nothing Byron Westmorland couldnt do in the CIAA championship game.
The Bowie State small forward put on a dazzling display against Livingstone, dropping 36 points in the Bulldogs 78-71 win at Time Warner Cable Arena on Saturday. Bowie State (16-13), which underachieved during the regular season as the fourth seed in the North Division, completed a fabulous run through the tournament, capped by knocking off Livingstone, the Souths top seed.
Westmorland, a senior who was named tournament most valuable player, had a major hand in the Bulldogs success. He scored 24 points in the second half to help Bowie State break open a close game, including 11 during a decisive 16-6 run that turned a 53-51 deficit into a 67-57 advantage with 8:04 left.
Westmorland torched the Blue Bears from the perimeter as well as with the drive, and Livingstones defenders struggled to keep pace. Blue Bears point guard Mark Thomas, who led Livingstone with 34 points, proved equally tough to stop, but Bowie States balance and effectiveness in the paint proved decisive.
Bowie State sizzled on offense in the first half, hitting 57.1 percent of its shots (16 of 28) against Livingstones 38.9 percent (14 of 36) but the Blue Bears trailed by 43-41 at the break. Westmorland and Carlos Smith paced the Bulldogs with 12 and 10 points in the first, respectively, while Livingstone countered with Mark Thomas 16 points on 6 of 12 shooting from the floor.
Livingstone, ranked No. 24 in Division II, started slowly as Bowie State built a 16-7 advantage to start the game, but warmed up behind Thomas. The Blue Bears pulled ahead for the first time at 26-24 on a Thomas three-point play at 6:41 and led 32-28 on Anthony Welchs 3-pointer, but Bowie State recovered. The Bulldogs went on a 15-6 rally, punctuated by consecutive 3-pointers by Bryan Wilson and Westmorland, to go ahead 43-38.