For the second time in three days, senior guard Ural Hogans showed the Morgan State Golden Bears the way to victory.
Hogans scored the first four points of the second half and 11 in the first nine minutes after intermission as Morgan State outscored Bethune-Cookman, 25-6, on the way to a 90-84 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference victory.
On Thursday Hogans, who is averaging nine points a game, had scored 25 as Morgan beat Florida A&M after losing its first 14 games. But with Hogans scoring 16 this time, the second win came much quicker as the Golden Bears improved to 2-14 overall and 2-4 in the MEAC. The Wildcats, after leading throughout the first half by as many as nine points, dropped to 4-13 for the season and 3-3 in the conference.
The Golden Bears opened the second half with renewed emotion after Hogans put them in front, 42-41, in less than a minute. Then Marcus Sheffield, who led all scorers with 22 points and Glenn Smith each added six points as Morgan built a 63-47 lead
Morgan still led 81-64 with less than four minutes to go, when a late barrage of three-pointers by the Wildcats cut the lead to 88-84 in the final seconds. But win No. 2 for Morgan came shortly thereafter.
"This really feels great," said Sheffield. "Ural is really doing the job for us. He's coming through the way we expected him to."
The fact that Morgan had won its first game in 15 tries had little effect on the Golden Bears at the outset. The home team fell behind quickly as Bethune-Cookman's Clifford Reed scored the first 10 Wildcat points, opening a 10-4 lead just 2 minutes, 45 seconds into the game. He hit his first four shots, including a pair of three-pointers.
The Wildcats built that lead to nine points on three different occasions in the first half. Reed's steal and basket made it 26-17 with 11:32 left and gave Reed 16 points at that early point in the game.
The Golden Bears rallied behind the inside play of senior Marcus Sheffield, who scored nine points in the half after coming off the bench. Sheffield hit a pair of field goals to cut the lead to 26-21 with 10:05 remaining.
A tap by Reggie Cunningham gave the Wildcats their last nine-point lead of the half, 32-23, with 8:30 to play.
After that Morgan cut the lead to five points four times before intermission. And a basket just before the buzzer by Glenn Smith, who intercepted a pass near halfcourt, cut the halftime deficit to 41-38.