Ga. Tech towers over Morgan, wins, 74-58 Bigger Yellow Jackets dominate Bears on boards

November 27, 1996|By Ray Glier | Ray Glier,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ATLANTA -- It happens nearly every time in these early season games between a major college basketball program like Georgia Tech and a lower-level program like Morgan State. The little guy gets mashed in a mismatch on the boards.

The Bears had some other problems in their season-opener here last night, but their biggest problem was they couldn't compete inside and they were hammered, 74-58.

Scott Deas and Jeric Lewis scored 11 each to lead Morgan State. Matt Harpring scored 21 points for Georgia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets outrebounded Morgan State, 53-32, and grabbed 27 offensive rebounds. Of the Yellow Jackets' 27 field goals made, 18 were scored within 10 feet of the basket.

"Size was a factor, but I don't think we did a good job either of blocking out," said Morgan State coach Chris Fuller. "We didn't do a good job fundamentally on the boards."

Tech overpowered Morgan State with 6-foot-9 Eddie Elisma, 6-10 Pablo Machado, 6-8 Michael Maddox, and the 6-7 Harpring, one of the best offensive rebounders in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Harpring pulled down 14 rebounds and six other Tech players had five boards each against a Bears' front line with an average height of 6-6.

"It was frustrating, they just kept tipping it and getting every rebound," Deas said. "We didn't do a good job of blocking out, especially when we got tired."

The Bears had a difficult time even when they weren't tired, which was in the game's opening minutes. Morgan State came out tentative and tight on offense and didn't score for the first 5: 22.

When freshman forward O'Tes Alston dropped in a free throw for Morgan State's first point of the season, the Bears were down 10-1 and stayed in a hole the rest of the game.

Morgan State shot 39.3 percent from the field. Its offense was confined to jump shots because Tech's big men had control of the inside.

"I'm not surprised how we played tonight," Fuller said. "I'm disappointed, but I'm not shocked."

Morgan State regrouped after its slow start and pulled within 24-18 with 6: 03 left in the first half. The Bears trailed 35-24 at the intermission.

Morgan State stayed within respectable distance for the first five minutes of the second half. But the Bears caved in after Harpring was fouled while shooting a three-pointer and made all three free throws with 14: 29 on the clock to give his team a 45-30 lead. The free throws started a 19-2 run.

"We have a tough schedule, but I think the players look forward to the challenge," Fuller said. "As long as they are excited about the challenge and work to improve, these games will help us get ready for the conference schedule."

The Bears play at Kansas State on Saturday and have December games with Georgetown and UCLA.

Pub Date: 11/27/96

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