BayRunners sink Stuff, 92-89

Clutch free-throw shooting at the end allows hosts to hold off East leaders

January 29, 2000|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

Last night's BayRunners game against Cincinnati looked similar to the others played at the Baltimore Arena.

The game was close throughout and came down to the last couple of possessions. Previously, that meant bad news for the BayRunners.

But last night, they pulled out a 92-89 win over the East Conference leader Cincinnati Stuff in front of 3,549.

The difference came on defense -- drawing a moving screen foul by Stuff forward Eric Taylor with the BayRunners ahead 88-87 with 24 seconds left. The Stuff was forced to foul on the BayRunners' possession, and Shawnta Rogers made both free throws to put the BayRunners up 90-87.

Baltimore guard Monty Wilson fouled Wayne Turner with 11 seconds left, sending the Stuff guard to the line with a chance to pull within one. But Turner missed both foul shots, which turned out to be a blessing for the Stuff.

Turner grabbed the rebound on the second shot and was fouled again. He made the first and intentionally missed the second, allowing Taylor to get the rebound with eight seconds left. Taylor passed to Alex Sanders, who drew a foul and went to the line with a chance to tie.

But Sanders missed his second free throw, and BayRunners guard LaMarr Greer grabbed the rebound with two seconds left, got fouled and made both shots to seal the win.

"We made our foul shots down the end," BayRunners coach Herb Brown said. "The only thing I didn't like is that we didn't box out on those last couple of foul shots."

The BayRunners held a 49-46 lead at the break after shooting 56.7 percent from the floor in the first half.

Steve Goodrich and Mark Blount -- starting in place of Brent Dabbs -- led an early first-quarter 10-2 charge that saw the BayRunners go up 18-10 with three minutes left in the period.

But the Stuff, able to stay within five points for most of the second period, took its first lead of the game, 46-44, on Roderick Blackney's three-pointer with 1: 24 left in the half. The BayRunners tied it at 46 before LaBradford Smith, playing in his second game since returning from a calf injury, made his third three-pointer of the period.

Greer led the BayRunners with 18 points. Wilson recorded his first double double of the season, scoring 12 points and 10 rebounds.

"I thought we defended a very good team," Brown said. "We didn't turn the ball over a whole lot. I didn't think we should shoot so many three-point shots [8-for-23]."

NOTE: The BayRunners dismissed six front office staff members, mostly in sales and public relations, a move team president Greg Smith Smith said was due to a lack of production and a need to cut the staff. Smith said the BayRunners were overstaffed, and the moves did not come as much of a surprise.

"We knew all season we would have to cut our staff," Smith said. "We expected there to be turnover. We weren't doing as well as we could in a variety of areas in the front office. I think everyone who the changes are affecting would agree with that."

The International Basketball League owns the BayRunners.

Cincinnati 22 24 22 21 -- 89

BayRunners 27 22 17 26 -- 92

CINCINNATI -- Turner 4-8 2-8 10, Blackney 6-15 2-2 15, Kingsbury 0-1 0-0 0, Brown 1-2 0-1 2, Fowlkes 7-18 8-8 21, Edwards 1-5 0-0 2, Taylor 2-3 2-2 6, James 3-4 0-0 6, Sanders 7-13 2-4 17, Samake 4-5 2-3 10, Hickey 0-0 0-0 0, Levett 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 35-74 16-28 89.

BAYRUNNERS -- Smith 3-6 0-0 9, Rogers 1-2 5-8 7, Lee 0-3 0-0 0, Elliott 5-10 2-2 14, Blount 2-7 4-4 8, Goodrich 4-8 4-4 12, Harrell 0-0 0-0 0, Wilson 5-9 2-4 12, Greer 4-8 7-6 18, Dabbs 4-6 4-5 12, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Werdann 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-57 28-33 92.

3-point goals--Cincinnati 3-19 (Fowlkes 1-3, Blackney 1-5, Sanders 1-5, Brown 0-1, Kingsbury 0-1,Turner 0-1, Edwards 0-3); BayRunners 8-23 (Smith 3-5, Greer 3-6, Elliott 2-4, Dabbs 0-1, Goodrich 0-2, Wilson 0-2, Lee 0-3). Rebounds--Cincinnati 38 (Fowlkes 8); BayRunners 36 (Wilson 10). Assists--Cincinnati 12 (Turner 7); BayRunners 26 (Elliott, Smith 5). Total fouls--Cincinnati 29, BayRunners 26. Fouled out--Samake. A--3,549.

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