S.C. State takes 2nd place from Morgan, behind Robinson's 40

February 21, 1993|By Bob Clark | Bob Clark,Contributing Writer

When South Carolina State senior Jackie Robinson matched his season's average of 21 points by halftime, the crowd of 2,317 at Morgan State's Hill Field House knew they were watching a man on a mission.

Then Robinson, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound forward, connected on his first five field-goal tries of the second half, increasing a three-point halftime lead to 55-43, nine minutes into the second half, and the Bulldogs were on their way to a convincing 82-67 victory over the Golden Bears.

Robinson finished with a career-high 40 points, hitting 14 of 17 field-goal attempts, grabbing nine rebounds and adding four assists and a pair of blocks.

"We just wanted to play hard," said Robinson. "We had a devastating loss at Coppin State earlier this week in a game in that we played poorly but still could've won. We wanted this game because we want that second spot in the tournament seedings."

The victory by the Bulldogs (15-10 overall) improved their Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference record to 9-5 and broke a second-place tie with Morgan, which dropped to 8-15 overall and 8-6 in the MEAC.

Robinson's performance didn't shock Morgan coach Michael Holmes. "He's been playing like that all year," Holmes said. "He's a manout there. He just went to work.

"What hurt us was we couldn't get our shooting going all night. We couldn't throw a rock in the ocean."

Morgan finished 4-for-22 from three-point range and leading scorer Chico Langston managed just 4-for-15 from the floor for nine points.

"If Chico doesn't go, we don't go," said Holmes.

For the game Morgan shot 38 percent (26 of 68) and was only 11 of 20 from the foul line. Malik White led the Bears with 16 points and Terrance Wright added 14.

Against a team that had beaten it by 26 points in early January, Morgan State looked like it would force a somewhat different outcome on its own court.

After falling behind 4-0 on a pair of early fast-break baskets by the Bulldogs, Morgan scored eight consecutive points (five by Wright) to take its first lead in a half that had five ties and six lead changes.

The Bulldogs then put on a 10-2 spurt to regain the lead, 14-10, midway in the half.

The Bears used an eight-point run to open a 25-21 lead with 6:43 left in the half, but Robinson scored six straight as S.C. State regained the lead 31-29 with four minutes to play in the half.

Kevin Young's second three-pointer and a goaltending basket awarded to Michael Brewer put Morgan back on top, before the Bulldogs crammed the last six points of the half into the final 45 seconds for a 39-36 halftime lead.

Then Robinson went to work once again early in the second half and the Bears could never get the lead under that 12-point margin.

"We kept pounding the ball inside and got Morgan in foul trouble early," said Robinson. "We'll be ready for the tournament and a chance to get to the big show [NCAA tournament]."

MEAC standings

-!

. .. .. Conf. .. .. .Overall

.. .. .. .. .. .. W .. L .. W .. . L .. Pct.

x-Coppin St. .. 14 .. 0 .. 17 .. . 7 .. . 708

S. Carolina St. ..9 . 5 .. 15 ... 10 .. . 600

Morgan St. .. .. 8 .. 6.. .. 8 .. 15 .. ..348

N. Caro A&T .. ..6 .. 6 .. ..11 ..11 .. ..500

Florida A&M .. ..7 .. 7 .. .. 7 ..16 .. ..304

UMES .. .. .. .. 6 .. 8 .. ..11 ..13 .. ..458

Delaware St. .. .5 .. 9 .. .. 9 ..14 .. . 391

Howard U. .. .. .4 .. 9 .. .. 7 . 16 .. . 304

Beth.-Cook. .. ..2 .. 11.. .. 3 . 20 ... .130

x-won regular-season title

Yesterday's results

S.C. State 82, Morgan State 67

Florida A&M 83, UMES 63

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