Hawkins cries foul UMBC falls to Delaware, 106-98 Free throws rally host from 18 down

January 07, 1993|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Staff Writer

NEWARK, Del. -- As far as the UMBC coach was concerned, his players "won the game for us."

The scoreboard told a different tale: Delaware 106, UMBC 98, in overtime, giving the Blue Hens their 16th straight home-court victory, one shy of the school record.

"What happened tonight is a scandal and no one can do anything about it," said Retrievers coach Earl Hawkins. "We beat their five players, but the officiating was awful.

"If the NCAA needs to look for something that needs to be corrected, they should look at the officiating. It was criminal."

Delaware (8-3) shot a school-record 56 free throws, including 16 in overtime, after trailing UMBC by 77-59 with 9:53 remaining in regulation at the Bob Carpenter Center.

Then, the parade to the Retrievers bench began. Point guard Dana Harris left with five personal fouls with 7:20 remaining, followed by starting forward Artie Walker at 6:47, then center Sonique Nixon, normally a starter, at 2:57. In overtime, UMBC lost Felton Scott and Brian Watkins, also a regular.

UMBC athletic director Charles Brown said the officials were told "many times that the basket" at which the Retrievers were shooting "was bent and they never did anything about it."

Hawkins also was upset that an unnamed Delaware player was allegedly making obscene gestures at his bench.

"Where is taunting?" he asked. "We had the clock held on us, their guys were walking to the foul line all night, we're waiting for them and getting blocking fouls. They just took our players away.

"I've never seen such a blatant display of cheating. Let's let the game be decided by the players on the floor. Delaware is a good club. They don't need that much help."

The officiating crew of George Watts, Bob Kurzinsky and Caesar Williams was not available for comment after the game.

UMBC (3-5) played a marvelous game against a strong, athletic team that entered the night with four straight victories and the championship of the Mount St. Mary's Holiday Tournament.

"They came in well-prepared," said Delaware coach Steve Steinwedel. "They knew exactly how to play us. We didn't have any momentum until the last two or three minutes of regulation."

The Retrievers shot 55.3 percent from the field in the first half and forged into a 54-42 advantage. They were beating Delaware up and down the floor and thriving in transition.

With Skip Saunders en route to a career-high 31 points, the margin swelled to 77-59 before Ricky Deadwyler of Delaware converted two straight three-shot foul opportunities to launch Delaware's rally.

Still, the Blue Hens needed a three-pointer by Kevin Blackhurst with 11 seconds remaining to send it into overtime. Blackhurst had been 1-for-11.

"I know they weren't happy with the officiating," said Blackhurst. "But when it was slipping away from them, they weren't complaining.

"If I wouldn't have missed so many early, we wouldn't have been in overtime," he said.

UMBC had Saunders drive the lane on its final attempt, but despite some contact as he was surrounded, no foul was called.

"All night we're going inside and they're the team that shoots 56 free throws," said Hawkins.

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