Free throws power Rice over Southern, 64-42

Boys basketball

December 09, 1992|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Contributing Writer

Two Southern basketball players together measuring more than 12 feet in height sat out last night for undisclosed reasons. Two other players, each over 6 feet 5, performed at subpar levels while trying to play through illnesses.

What finally cost the second-ranked Bulldogs their game against Rice High of New York, however, was the 15 feet between the foul line and the basket.

Southern was outscored 18-6 in free throws, including 13-0 in the fourth quarter, losing to Rice, 64-42, in the third game of the Charm City/Big Apple Challenge at the Baltimore Arena.

"They really hurt us on the foul line," said Southern coach Meredith Smith, whose team committed 13 second-half fouls. "I thought it would be an aggressive game, but I didn't think it would be quite as physical as it turned out to be."

And without Michael Wise and Dante Williams, and with Tyrone Smith and Alphonso Hawes playing at half strength, the fatigued Bulldogs found themselves battling to keep up with the fresher Raiders late in the game.

"I think our players got tired," said Smith. "We had a lot more energy at the beginning than we did at the end. To beat a team like Rice, we have to have a lot of things going right, and we've got to be healthy."

That Rice was well-schooled about the Bulldogs' game plan didn't help, either.

All night, Raiders defenders came out to guard Southern's perimeter shooters, taking away their outside game. With the lack of a big man inside, the Bulldogs were forced to scrap for what they could get on offense.

The Raiders' then took full advantage of their height -- three players over 6-6 -- to out-rebound Southern 42-29.

"We knew exactly what they wanted to do," said Rice coach Lou Demello, whose team improved to 3-0. "They wanted to jack it up for the three, and we were out there in their face on every shot."

Southern (1-2) shot 32 percent for the game, 23 percent in the second half and two of 11 from three-point range. Guards Damon Cason and Kevin Simpson, Southern's two top scorers, hit eight of 34 shots.

The Rice tandem of Felipe Lopez and Reggie Freeman had games to remember. Lopez, widely regarded as the best junior in the nation, scored 23 points in 28 minutes. Freeman, the game's most valuable player, had 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Kevin Simpson led Southern with 14 points.

Southern missed its first six shots and didn't score from the field until Dantarius Keating's follow shot with 4:07 left in the first quarter.

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