Not even the presence of Marvin "The Human Eraser" Webster could help the Morgan State basketball team last night.
The greatest of all Morgan basketball players was in the stands and was introduced before the game, but there was nothing he could do to stop rival Howard University from rolling to a 78-63 victory over the Bears in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game at Hill Field House before 4,275.
Howard bolted to a 19-point lead late in the first half and held off several Morgan mini-runs in the second half for its seventh win in the past 11 starts.
Howard also knocked off Coppin State, 66-64, Saturday night at the Coppin Center.
Morgan cut the Howard lead to 51-44 with 10 minutes, 53 seconds left in the game on a Michael Brewer slam, but the Bears could get no closer.
Howard answered with nine straight points for a 60-44 lead with 8:16 left, and the game was never in doubt again.
The key play during the nine-point run came with Howard ahead, 55-44, and Morgan guard Terry Sellers driving to the basket for a high-percentage shot.
But Sellers tried to pass, and it was picked off by the Bison, setting up Howard Holley for a four-point play and a 59-44 bulge.
Holley drove for a layup, was fouled on what was called a flagrant foul and then converted the two free throws.
"That play was the difference," said Howard coach Butch Beard. "Morgan didn't quit. We weren't as composed in the second half as the first, but I didn't expect to blow them out in front of their rTC home fans. I'm trying to get our kids to play as hard as we can
and as smart as we can."
Morgan coach Michael Holmes said: "This is the worst basketball I've been associated with since I've been coaching. I know our players are trying, but we're not at the level we need to be."
Howard was led by Milan Brown's 14 points, five assists and two steals.
Morgan State was paced by Brandon Parker and Obadiah Johnson, who combined for 31 points and nine steals.
Webster, a 7-footer from Baltimore's Edmondson High, will be inducted into the Maryland Sports Hall of Fame next month and was in town for an interview yesterday with Baltimore cable channel 44.
Webster, a real estate salesman in Irvington, N.J., led Morgan to an NCAA College Division championship in 1974 and went on to help the Seattle SuperSonics win the NBA title in the 1978-79 season.
Webster also played for the New York Knicks and the Denver Nuggets. He was a teammate of Beard's on the Knicks and chatted with Beard, a former Louisville All-American, after the game.
Howard held a 41-27 lead at halftime. Morgan State was again plagued by foul trouble in the first eight minutes, collecting 10 fouls.
HOWARD (8-11, 6-2) -- Brown 1-3 3-4 5, Huckaby 1-3 2-2 5, Holley 4-4 4-6 13, Brown 4-6 6-8 14, McNeil 4-14 5-6 14, Crowder 1-2 0-1 -2, Reddick 1-8 1-2 3, Sturdivant 2-5 5-8 9, Cole 4-5 0-1 8, Gibbs 0-1 1-2 1, Soloman 1-5 2-5 4. Totals 23-58 29-45 78.
MORGAN STATE (2-17, 2-6) -- Ellett 1-3 0-0 2, Sellers 4-9 0-0 10, Johnson 7-10 0-2 15, Parker 6-11 3-5 16, Downs 2-3 0-0 4, Brewer 3-10 2-7 8, Burrell 1-6 0-1 2, Smith 3-5 0-1 6. Totals 27-60 5-18 63.
Halftime--Howard U. 41, Morgan 27. 3-point goals--Howard 3-10 (Huckaby 1-1. Holley 1-1, McNeil 1-3, Brown 0-1, Reddick 0-4, Morgan St. 4-8 (Sellers 2-3, Johnson 1-1, Parker 1-1, Ellett 0-1, Smith 0-1) Fouled out--Morgan (Burrell, Smith). Rebounds--Howard 48 (McNeil 8), Morgan St. 40 (Johnson, Brewer 9). Assists--Howard 10 (Brown 5), Morgan St. 13 (Johnson 3). Total fouls--Howard 14, Morgan St. 30. A--4,275.