Watson gets Mount started with his play off bench

February 17, 1994|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Sun Staff Writer

He has not started a game in nearly two months, yet Mount St. Mary's forward Michael Watson is the most productive player on the team, maybe even the Northeast Conference.

Watson, a 6-foot-4 junior from Philadelphia, emerged as a super-sub last year for the Mountaineers. This year, coach Jim Phelan decided to return Watson to that role after he struggled as a starter during the season's first three weeks.

Phelan's move has paid off. As the first player off the bench for the Mountaineers (12-11, 8-7), Watson is averaging 14.7 points, and leads the team in rebounding (7.8) and blocked shots (2.1). He is shooting 63 percent from the field, a percentage that has been aided by some of the league's more thunderous dunks.

And Watson, who has recorded five double-doubles this season, is doing this damage while averaging merely 26.7 minutes a game.

Watson especially has made his presence felt in the past four games, since coming back from a sprained ankle that sidelined him for two games. He has led the team in rebounding in all four contests, and has the been the Mountaineers top scorer in three of the past four..

Coppin, Towson roll on

Coppin State's men's basketball team seems to have the market cornered on winning streaks these days.

As the Eagles march toward another undefeated season against the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, they own the nation's longest winning streak at 12. They also are extending their record of consecutive MEAC victories (31).

The Eagles aren't alone in this regard, however. Two of the nation's longest home winning streaks are owned by Baltimore teams -- Coppin State and Towson State.

The Eagles have won 20 in a row at home, the sixth-best streak in the country. Towson State has won 16 straight at the Towson Center, which places the Tigers eighth on that list. Interestingly, the Tigers began their season by ending a 23-game home winning streak by St.John's.

On the women's side, Mount St. Mary's is piling up Northeast Conference victims at an impressive rate. The Mountaineers (18-2, 14-0), headed for a NEC title and a berth in the NCAA tournament, have won 20 straight against the league and have not lost a conference game in a year.

Towson gymnasts hurting

The Towson State gymnastics team has battled as many injuries as opponents this season. That hasn't prevented the Tigers from having another strong start.

Friday, the No. 21-ranked Tigers (5-1) will play host to the ninth annual TSU Invitational Meet. The field includes North Carolina, Maryland, George Washington, William & Mary, Temple and Penn.

Junior Wendy Chambers and sophomore Carrie Leger have been the leaders for the Tigers this winter. Chambers won her second all-around competition while leading the Tigers to a tri-meet victory over George Washington and Maryland two weeks ago. Leger, despite a back injury, also has an all-around victory.

The Tigers, who gave coach Dick Filbert his 200th victory last month, have overcome numerous injuries. Senior Kim O'Keefe (knee) and sophomore Pam Johnson (leg) were lost during the first week of the season. Junior Jennifer Honaker is out for the year with an elbow injury. Meanwhile, junior Joan Reitz is bothered by a sprained ankle, and freshmen Shawna Thompson and Alison McCord have been limited by wrist injuries.

St. Mary's Friedman on mark

Even though St. Mary's lost, 103-93, to Marymount last week, the game belonged to St. Mary's junior guard Barry Friedman.

Friedman scored 49 points, shattering the school record of 35. He hit 13 of 14 free throws, and most impressively, made 10 of 11 three-point attempts.

The 49 points and 10 three-pointers marked single-game highs in men's Division III this season.

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