Ejections cost Morgan in 103-80 loss

December 05, 1992|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- When this season started, one of the asset for Morgan State was height. But last night against St. Joseph's in a semifinal of the Texaco Hawk Classic, the Bears were quickly cut down to size.

That's because two of their tallest starters, 6-foot-7 forward Matt Burrell and 6-10 center Malik White, were ejected by the referees less than five minutes into the game. And with 6-11 center Jarrad Smith already out because of a broken bone in his hand, the Bears were outmanned in a 103-80 loss at the Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.

The ejections will hurt Morgan today when the Bears (0-2) face Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference foe Delaware State in the 5:05 p.m. consolation game. Ejected players must miss their next game, so Burrell and White will sit out today.

St. Joseph's (1-0) will play Harford (2-0) in tonight's title game.

Burrell and White were ejected along with Bernard Jones of St. Joseph's three minutes into the game after a scuffle broke out as both teams fought for a rebound. Morgan State trailed, 5-2, at the time and was never really in the game after the incident.

The ejections set the tone for an ugly first half during which 34 personal fouls and five technical fouls were called. The teams combined to shoot 47 free throws in the first half -- 28 of those coming in the game's first 10 minutes.

Both teams settled down in the second half but, as far as Morgan was concerned, the game was over.

"I'm disappointed," said Morgan State coach Michael Holmes. "It wasn't fair. Our man was hit with an elbow first. Then we get two of our players thrown out and just one of theirs. I don't think it's right."

St. Joseph's finished with 60 free-throw attempts, a school record. The Hawks were 38-for-60.

"Sixty free throws, that's unbelievable," Holmes said. Morgan was 16-for-26 from the line.

With the ejections and four disqualifications because of personal fouls, Morgan State was forced to finish the game with four players. Only eight will be available for today's game.

"We have to do the best we can," Holmes said. "We know Delaware State is a good team."

The Bears never appeared to have their composure in the early going. Morgan State turned the ball over eight times during its first 12 possessions and had 16 turnovers in the first half.

St. Joseph's rolled out to an 18-3 lead. The Bears pulled to 20-9, but that was as close as Morgan State got the rest of the game.

With Burrell and White out, St. Joseph's just pounded the ball inside against Morgan, which played the rest of the first half with a front line that stood 6-7, 6-5 and 6-3. The Hawks had 32 rebounds in the half, 22 offensive.

The Hawks continued going to their inside game and opened up leads of as many as 28 points. Rap Curry had 25 points to lead the Hawks. Freshman guard Kevin Young led Morgan with 17 points.

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