Towson pulls away to defeat Morgan Tigers recover, 69-65, from sloppy first half

November 20, 1998|By Jerry Bembry | Jerry Bembry,SUN STAFF

He had just scored an early second-half basket, and Morgan State forward Chris King was engaged in some serious trash-talking. As he flapped his jaws, one would have assumed the Bears were enjoying a big lead against Towson in last night's second game in the Battle of Baltimore tournament.

By game's end, King had little to say. Not after the Bears remained winless (0-3) in a 69-65 loss to the Tigers at the Towson Center.

If anyone deserved to talk, it was Towson reserve guard Pete Mauro, who led the Tigers with 17 points. The junior transfer from Eastern Utah Junior College hit a huge three-pointer from the top of the key with 2: 26 left that broke a 59-59 tie. The Tigers held the lead the rest of the game, picking up their first win after opening the season with a 45-point loss at Creighton.

"We sensed, all of us, that our confidence was shattered [after Creighton] and we spent our last 48 hours working on this," said Towson coach Mike Jaskulski, pointing to his head. "It's amazing what a win will do for you."

Morgan guard Rasheed Sparks scored 20 points and King added 19, but couldn't stop the Tigers from advancing to tomorrow's championship game against Loyola.

Morgan, losing its first two games by a total of 58 points, started the game slowly. Aside from a free throw in the opening minute, the Bears missed their first five field-goal attempts and committed one turnover over their first five possessions.

And yet the Bears never trailed by more than six points in the opening half and, as a result of 17 first-half turnovers by Towson, Morgan wound up with a 31-28 first-half lead.

Maybe it was because of the TV cameras, but it was pretty much a sloppily played first half by both teams. At one point, Morgan coach Chris Fuller pulled all five of his starters.

But Towson's play was lethargic as well, although the Tigers had their biggest lead of the half, 19-13, after a jumper by Mauro with 6: 42 left in the half.

MORGAN STATE -- Sparks 7-15 3-5 18, King 7-11 5-5 19, Canady 2-7 0-2 4, Fields 4-10 5-6 14, Herron 0-1 2-2 2, Demory 1-5 0-0 3, Bullock 1-3 0-0 2, McBride 0-1 0-0 0, Van Hook 1-3 1-2 3, Qualls 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-57 16-22 65.

TOWSON -- Barber 4-8 2-2 10, Davalli 3-7 0-0 6, Hawes 2-4 2-4 6, de Pablo 5-9 0-0 12, Cason 3-7 5-6 12, Mauro 7-14 0-0 17, Holtz 2-6 0-0 4, Zenou 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 27-58 9-12 69.

Half--Morgan State, 31-28. 3-point goals--MS 3-13 (Demory 1-4, Fields 1-4, Sparks 1-4, Bullock 0-1); T 6-17 (Mauro 3-6, de Pablo 2-6, Cason 1-4, Davalli 0-1). Rebounds--MS 40 (King 9); T 30 (Hawes 8). Assists--MS 12 (Fields 5); T 14 (Cason 6). Total fouls--MS 16, T 17. Fouled out--Sparks. A--2,412.

Pub Date: 11/20/98

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