Morgan takes Iona to OT, falls, 94-92 Bears rally late, but Byrd misses 3 in final seconds

November 16, 1997|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Morgan State opened its 1997-98 season with a 94-92 overtime loss to Iona last night before a crowd of 1,000 at Baltimore City Community College.

Tremain Byrd missed a three-pointer with 8.9 seconds left that would have given Morgan State the lead.

After two free throws by Chris Harrison gave Iona a 93-87 lead with 2: 14 left, Phil Grant followed a miss by Byrd with a jumper to close the deficit to 93-89 with 1: 30 left.

Jimmy Fields brought Morgan State to within 93-92 with a three-pointer with 46 seconds left. The Bears forced Iona into a turnover, but Morgan's Ronald Van Hook was called for a backcourt violation with 11.5 seconds left.

John McDonald was fouled and hit one of two free throws, giving Morgan State one last shot, but Byrd's three-pointer from the top of the key missed.

McDonald, a former player from Loyola, tied the game at 85 with three free throws with 33.7 seconds remaining. Both teams missed opportunities to take the lead and the game went into the overtime.

Fields gave Morgan State an 85-82 lead with 52 seconds remaining in regulation with a three-pointer after Byrd had grabbed his own miss and got the ball to the local product from Gilman.

Trailing 41-39 at halftime, the Bears opened the second half with a 10-0 run, sparked by consecutive three-pointers by Byrd, to build their largest lead at 49-41.

Iona pulled even at 60 as Ivo Kresta got free under the basket for an easy layup. The Gaels would regain the lead at 64-63 on a follow-up basket by Kashif Hameed.

A three-pointer by Van Hook gave Morgan State a 66-64 lead with 7: 16 remaining in regulation. Morgan State built the lead to 72-68 on a three-pointer by Fields.

The Bears have faced Iona only once, back in the 1983 season opener that was won by the Gaels, 92-46.

Iona built an early 10-4 lead after a three-pointer by Jason Young before the Bears went on a 7-0 run, getting two baskets from Lorenzo Hutchinson and three points by Fields.

The Gaels came back with a 9-0 run to take a 19-11 lead with 11: 17 remaining in the first half, thanks in part to five points coming after a technical foul was called on Morgan State coach Chris Fuller.

The Gaels maintained the lead for the next nine minutes, then tempers began to flare.

With Iona holding a 37-34 lead, Phil Grant slammed Fields to the floor on a breakaway layup attempt. A couple of Morgan players confronted Grant, and the players had to be separated. Later, Rasheed Sparks of Iona and Chris Harrison were assessed technicals.

Two free throws by Byrd gave Morgan a 39-37 lead with 1: 19 left.

The Gaels shot particularly well in the first half, converting 17 of 32 attempts while Morgan State was only 12-for-30.

Pub Date: 11/16/97

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