Howard eases past Morgan, 86-72

February 01, 1994|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Writer

It was another night of misery for Morgan State basketball.

The Bears maintained their grip on last place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference at Hill Field House, falling to archrival Howard, 86-72, before 2,750 fans.

Howard (8-8, 5-2) took command midway through the first half, exploited Morgan's foul trouble and poor foul shooting and was not threatened the rest of the way.

"We just kind of fell apart in the second half," said Bears coach Michael Holmes. "For some reason, we can't get them to play together as five. It's been difficult.

"We missed a lot of free throws [13 of 23] and couldn't capitalize when they made a lot of turnovers."

Morgan (3-15, 1-8) played without 320-pound Jarrad Smith, who is still recovering from a bad ankle, and Brandon Battle, who is on disciplinary suspension.

To make matters worse, everyone Holmes used extensively was in danger of fouling out except Gerald Jordan, and point guard Chico Langston left the game for several minutes when he turned an ankle.

"We seem to stay in foul trouble," said Holmes. "For some reason they [the officials] don't seem to see anybody but us."

Jordan had another big night despite the presence of Howard's 7-footer, Grady Livingston. The 6-11 Morgan center scored a game-high 17 points and grabbed a game-high 18 rebounds. Scott Deas added 15 points for the Bears off the bench.

Holmes had a change of heart and played 6-10 Chris McCarthy after intending to suspend the freshman for disciplinary reasons. "We talked about it with the athletic director and Chris and decided we wouldn't do it," said the coach.

The game was tied at 20 when Jordan went to the bench for his first rest, and the Bison immediately unleashed a 12-2 spurt to take charge of the game.

Morgan was within 40-34 with less than a minute left in the half, but missed five free throws in the final 43 seconds and wound up trailing at the break, 43-34.

The victory was the fourth in the past five games for the Bison, which couldn't quite hold Morgan to less than 40 percent shooting from the field as it had eight of the previous nine foes.

"We try to hold people to about 65 points and probably would have tonight if we hadn't substituted late," said Howard coach Butch Beard.

"We had a good team effort. [Phil] Chenier played well off the bench [13 points, eight rebounds] and the big guy's physical presence was there when he was in there."

As usual, the Bison got balanced scoring with six players producing at least 10 points. Livingston had 14 rebounds in only 22 minutes.

"I was concerned because it was our first game in a week," said Beard. "We had a weather game postponed at UMES. We had come from Florida winning two in a row and I hoped our momentum would continue."

Morgan, which swept Howard last season, is winless in seven games at home this year. It is not a good year for that, because the MEAC tournament's early rounds will be held on the Bears' court.

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