Southern falls short in Classic Dunbar of Wash. hangs on, 60-54

January 17, 1993|By Derek Toney 44TC | Derek Toney 44TC,Contributing Writer

When Southern played in the Charm City Classic last year, it was hoping to gain a national ranking. The Bulldogs didn't, losing to St. Raymond's (N.Y.) and St. Anthony (N.J.).

The Bulldogs returned to the Charm City Classic at the Towson Center yesterday, this time looking to turn their fortunes against Dunbar of Washington.

Once again, as been the case for most of their season, the No. 7 Bulldogs fell short, losing to the country's No. 9 team according to USA Today, 60-54, in the preliminary game.

The Crimson Tide (18-1), ranked No. 1 in the Washington area, was led by senior guard Nathan Langley with 22 points and seven rebounds. Claude Green added 19.

Kevin Simpson led the Bulldogs (6-5) with 22 points. Tyrone Smith added 11 and a game-high 14 rebounds, as Southern controlled the boards, 44-29.

But what did in Southern yesterday was its free-throw shooting, hitting 16 of 31 attempts, while Dunbar converted on nine of 11 in the closing three minutes.

"The difference in the game was the free throws," said Southern coach Meredith Smith. "They hit their's and we didn't, and I think that is somewhat attributed to fatigue."

For the past month, Southern has been practicing on a half-court due to water damage suffered in early December. The Bulldogs have had to postpone two games and played a third at Mervo, while the floor was being repaired.

The Bulldogs almost didn't practice yesterday with the school being closed, but they were able to use a practice court.

With the all of those distractions, Southern had the advantage in the opening half, before Dunbar rallied to take a 47-38 lead with 5:25 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Simpson closed the gap to 53-52 on a steal and a dunk with 1:25 left. Green hit a pair of one-and-one free throws, making it 55-52. Then a frustrating sequence of plays would follow for Southern.

After a Simpson miss, Alphonso Hawes grabbed one of Southern's 17 offensive rebounds, but was called for traveling with 52 seconds left.

With 47 seconds left, Green missed the front end of a one-and-one, but the ball went through the hands of two Bulldogs back to Green, who hit a basket for a 57-52 lead.

"They are a hustling team," said Simpson. "We were to get good shots from the guards and rebounding on the inside, but they made their opportunities in the clutch."

With Simpson scoring six, the Bulldogs took an early 12-4 lead. They led 20-14 after the opening period and extended it to 25-14, before Dunbar closed to 27-21 at halftime.

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