Morgan rally fizzles in 82-77 loss to A&M

February 11, 1994|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Writer

Morgan State coach Michael Holmes called the game "an all-time low."

The Bears launched a spirited late rally last night at Hill Field House, but the deficit was big and they fell to Florida A&M, 82-77, in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game.

It was the eighth straight defeat for Morgan (3-18, 1-10), which is 0-8 at home, including six losses to MEAC opponents.

Florida A&M (4-16, 2-8) has beaten Morgan twice.

With their lead at 72-55, the Rattlers went into a semi-stall in the final five minutes and Morgan reeled off nine straight points to slice the deficit to eight.

Morgan cut it as low as six (76-70 and 78-72) in the final minute, but A&M wrapped it up at the free-throw line.

"We just wanted them to play defense for at least 15 seconds when we got so far ahead," said Rattlers first-year coach Ron Brown, who earned his first road victory.

"There wasn't any use to jerk up shots at that point. We were just playing a possession game."

Morgan's comeback attempt started with a three-pointer by Brandon Battle and culminated when Kevin Young scored on a drive to make it 78-72 with 38 seconds left.

But the Rattlers, who had some trouble with Morgan's press, held onto the ball long enough to get to the foul line and end a six-game slide.

"It [the rally] isn't worth nothing if you can't come back all the way," said Holmes.

Morgan self-destructed at the line in the first half, missing 10 of 18 while the Rattlers hit 15 of 19.

That led to a 44-30 deficit for the Bears, who also missed all four of their three-point attempts and went 11 for 35 (31.4 percent) from the field overall.

But a wake-up call finally seemed to arrive with 8:51 left in the game, when Morgan point guard, Chico Langston was ejected after a brief altercation at one end of the floor.

Several players were involved, but the officials quickly took charge and restored order.

"I don't know what happened," said Holmes. "A little man [such as Langston] has to be provoked to go after someone like that. But I didn't argue with what they did."

All five starters scored in double figures for the Rattlers, who prevaled by sinking 28 of 39 free throws to 13 of 26 by Morgan.

Langston scored 10 before his premature exit to share high for Morgan with Terrence Wright. Leading scoring Gerald Jordan had another subpar shooting game (3-for-12) and finished with seven points.

The Bears have less than a month to get something going before the MEAC tournament, which will be played on their home court, with the final at the Baltimore Arena.

"We've just got to keep trying," said Holmes. "We aren't going to quit."

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