Morgan slide continues, 79-66

South Carolina State hands struggling Bears 7th loss in past 9 games

February 01, 2000|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

Another game, another rough outing for the Morgan State men's basketball team, which dropped a 79-66 decision to South Carolina State last night in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game before 3,002 at Hill Field House.

Mike Wiatre scored 28 points and Coray Davis led a 16-2 run that gave the Bulldogs -- who beat Coppin State on Saturday -- a sweep on their trip to Baltimore.

The Bulldogs' victory -- complete with 45 free-throw attempts and a 52-41 rebounding edge -- also made 13th-year coach Cy Alexander the winningest coach at South Carolina State (12-10, 8-2 MEAC), with 215 victories.

Jimmy Fields, struggling of late, scored a team-high 17 points, but Morgan State (3-15, 3-5) lost for the seventh time in nine games. The loss also moved the team further away from the direction desired by coach Chris Fuller, who wondered aloud about whether he would be back next season after the Bears lost to North Carolina A&T on Saturday.

Last night, the fifth-year coach was a little more upbeat, buttressed by the support of those on campus and by what he considered to be the effort of his team.

"I feel like we have the beginnings of a good team," Fuller said. "We need to add pieces, but we have good kids."

The Bears stuck with the MEAC leaders for a half before wilting over the game's final 12 minutes. With 4: 46 left to go in the first half, the team held a 26-21 lead over the Bulldogs after a three-pointer by Reggie Winkfield and a dunk by Brandon Reece.

But Wiatre scored 12 points over the next four minutes as part of a 13-4 run that gave South Carolina State a 34-31 halftime lead.

"We were a little flat in the first half, not as focused as we should have been," Alexander said. "In the second half, we were more focused and were able to increase the intensity level."

The lead increased as well. After allowing the Bears to get as close as 41-39 with two free throws from Fields at the 13: 46 mark -- S.C. State used a 20-4 run over six minutes to close the game out.

Davis scored eight straight points during the run, and finished with 15 points.

"That was the ballgame," Fuller said. "We don't have the firepower we had last year and we don't get those runs."

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