Morgan maintains its winning form

January 20, 1995|By Alan Goldstein | Alan Goldstein,Sun Staff Writer

The Morgan State Bears, who lost their first 12 games this season, continued their dramatic turnaround last night, winning their third straight by whipping Florida A&M, 90-84, at Hill Field House.

Senior forward Terrence Wright, playing one of his finest games, led the Bears with 26 points on 11-for-16 field-goal shooting.

But it took five timely points by senior guard Damian Zellous in the closing minutes to repel the Rattlers, who have dropped 19 straight Division I games since beating the Bears last February.

Ricky Davis led the Rattlers (3-12, 0-5) with 34 points.

Florida A&M has a starting freshman guard named Scientific Mapp, who made David Letterman's "Top 10 Name List" before the start of the college season.

But after jumping out to a 20-9 lead in the first six minutes, Mapp and his teammates lost their way the remainder of the first half.

That allowed Morgan State to regroup and gain a 14-point advantage early in the second half.

Davis had little trouble penetrating the Bears defense for easy layups, and Isreal Smith powered his way inside and Sean Black scored from the perimeter with little resistance.

But Brandon Battle, a 6-foot-7 senior center with a fine outside touch, triggered Morgan's comeback by hitting three three-pointers to pull the Bears into a 30-30 tie. He finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Wright then took charge of Morgan's offense, converting offensive rebounds and making acrobatic layups to build a 48-40 halftime cushion.

The lead ballooned to 58-44 early in the second half before Davis, scoring on a variety of twisting moves, sparked the Rattlers' comeback.

The visitors trailed 76-73 when Wright scored on a spin move and Battle made a jump shot.

But Florida A&M wasn't finished. They closed to 80-76 and had a chance to draw closer. But reserve forward Claxton Owens missed two free throws.

Zellous finally put it out of reach with a three-pointer that barely beat the 24-second clock, and two free throws.

The victory before a noisy crowd of 3,056 raised the Bears'

Mid-Eastern Conference mark to 3-2.

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