Slow start costs BayRunners, 90-85

Held to 28 by Stuff in 1st half, second-half rally falls short

Pro Basketball

January 06, 2000|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

The play BayRunners coach Herb Brown called didn't get executed in the first three possessions of last night's game against the Cincinnati Stuff.

Brown could offer no specific reason as to why his team did not run it or how the BayRunners could be held to 28 first-half points en route to a 90-85 loss to the Stuff in front of 2,914 at Baltimore Arena last night.

"We came out of the dressing room running a specific play," Brown said. "We didn't run it the first three times we touched the ball. It is just because these guys think we will win the game with jump shots. So the first three shots we take are jump shots, instead of going inside, getting the ball to the basket and putting them in foul trouble."

It was a team-wide lack of intensity and focus in the first half that saw the BayRunners shoot 29 percent, get out-rebounded 25-16, get only two points off the bench and trail by 18 at the break.

"I've never been on a professional team that the team total was 28 points in the first half," said Lonnie Harrell, who finished with 10 points for the game. "I've seen players have 28 in the first half. Guys have to be more aggressive."

The BayRunners were more aggressive in the second half, cutting a 61-47 deficit at the end of the third quarter to five with 13 seconds left.

Steve Goodrich and Harrell led the late push capping off a 38-point quarter, nine fewer than what the team scored in the first three quarters.

Goodrich used his post-up game to score eight points in the quarter, and Harrell used his penetration to the basket to draw fouls or score on layups. That is basically what Brown wants to see from his team all game, rather than when it falls behind by double-digits, a trend that has been a substantial reason for the team's eight-game losing streak.

"I've been harping on these guys the whole time that you have to play 48 minutes," Brown said. "Once we do that, we'll be a good team. We finally got some guys scoring [in the second half]. In the second half, Steve Goodrich takes the ball to the kids. But defensively, we weren't very good."

Especially when they needed to be in the fourth quarter. The BayRunners scored 38, but the Stuff put in 29, while shooting 44 percent for the game.

Forward Alex Sanders provided the most problems for the BayRunners, scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Guard Roderick Blackney scored a team-high 21 points while dishing out seven assists.

Shawnta Rogers led the BayRunners with 23 points.

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