Towson finally finishes Morgan, 67-59

Tigers have answers for every Bears' rally

November 24, 1999|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

Three Towson players scored in double figures as the Tigers men's basketball team defeated Morgan State, 67-59, last night at Hill Field House.

Brian Barber and Damon Cason scored 16 points apiece, while Torin Ragin scored 13 for the Tigers (2-1), who won their second game in a row. Towson, coming off a win over Coppin State on Saturday, extended its lead over Morgan State in the series to 3-0 since it was renewed in 1997.

The game was tied as late as the 12: 39 mark of the second half after two free throws by Jimmy Fields made it 52-52.

Kerry Augustus broke the tie with a jumper with 6: 16 left, marking the fifth time Towson had regained the lead in the second half within two minutes of Morgan State (0-2) either tying the score or going ahead.

From there, a pair of three-pointers by Ragin gave the Tigers a 59-54 lead with 3: 35 left.

Cason, Ragin, Augustus, Marlin Wise and Mike Shin each made shots in the second half that gave the lead to the Tigers, who have several players on whom they can depend, unlike past seasons.

"The difference was that we had some guys step up and make baskets at critical times," said Towson coach Mike Jaskulski, who made the distinction between last night and similar games in the past two seasons. "[In the past], that kind of stuff hasn't happened. Sometimes that's the difference between winning and losing."

After hitting his second three-pointer of the half, Ragin was successful on an up-and-under move that made the score 61-55 with 1: 48 left.

Cason then made four free throws down the stretch, as Towson survived the absence of Barber, who scored all of his points in 17 minutes before fouling out at with 7: 07 left.

Towson led by as much as 10 points in the first half when an Augustus layup made the score 22-12 with 7: 42 left before halftime, but a Fields three-pointer brought Morgan State to within 26-21 with 3: 26 to go.

The Tigers led 29-23 at halftime, but the Bears played their best defense of the game as the second half began. Fields scored five of his game-high 21 points during a 12-2 run that gave the Bears a 34-31 lead with 16: 05 remaining.

But just as quickly, a three-point play by Barber and a three-pointer by Cason returned the lead to Towson in little more than a minute, much to the frustration of Bears coach Chris Fuller.

"You can't rest for 35 minutes and play hard for five minutes," he said. "We got away from the things that got us back in the game, and they took advantage of mistakes we made."

Michael Canady had 11 points for Morgan and Reginald Bullock added 10.

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