ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Ja Morgan reached 1,000 career points on Friday, but his Bemidji State men’s basketball team didn’t get enough offense in a cold 60-49 loss to Tampa at the Eckerd College Classic in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Morgan has racked up 416 points in a Beaver uniform over 32 games. The senior transfer also scored 584 points in two seasons for San Bernardino Valley College.
Morgan’s 998th career point capped a longstanding comeback climb for BSU (2-2), tying things up at 44-all with six minutes to go. But the Spartans (1-5) scored 11 of the ensuing 14 points to jump back ahead 55-47 with two minutes left.
Morgan cut the deficit back down to six on a tough layup through contact -- his 1,000th career point -- but it was the last basket of the night for Bemidji State.
In contrast to the finish, the Beavers shot ahead early. They used an 11-0 run off 3-pointers from Logan Bader and Nick Wagner for a 13-5 advantage. But Tampa rallied for the next nine points, assuming the lead and control.
Tampa built its lead to as many as 11 in the first half, ultimately entering the break ahead 34-25.
BSU struggled to put a dent into the difference out of halftime, but that changed late when Morgan started to warm up. Despite slipping back into a tie, though, the Spartans recovered and held on for the 11-point win.
On the game, Bemidji State shot 19-for-55 (34.5 percent) and 8-for-27 (29.6 percent) from beyond the arc. Morgan and Wagner each tallied 12 points to share the team lead, and Griffin Chase added nine points and seven rebounds.
Pat Bacon finished with a game-high 21 points for Tampa.
The Beavers will finish their Florida trip with a 6:30 p.m. game against host Eckerd College on Saturday, Nov. 30.
Tampa 60, Bemidji State 49
BSU 25 24 -- 49
UT 34 26 -- 60
BEMIDJI STATE (2-2) -- Morgan 12, Wagner 12, Chase 9, Thompson 7, Bader 5, Landwehr 4, Bjorklund 0, Olizia 0. Totals 19-55, 3-4, 49.
TAMPA (1-5) -- Bacon 21, Felder 12, Lakovic 10, Duncan 9, Patterson 7, Baker 1, Diaz 0, Harris 0, Diaz 0. Totals 19-48, 17-20, 60.