Swarm is all over BayRunners

Team draws good crowd, but gets blitzed, 95-77

February 12, 2000|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Matador defense. No intensity. Sloppy ball-handling. Poor free-throw shooting. And a little jet lag.

What did it all add up to for the BayRunners last night?

An ugly 95-77 loss to the St. Louis Swarm before a homecoming crowd of 3,913 at Baltimore Arena.

The fans came to welcome the BayRunners back from a West Coast trip to San Diego, where Baltimore picked up just its second road victory of the season Wednesday night with a 91-75 decision over San Diego.

But the BayRunners (10-19) couldn't stand prosperity and basically went through the motions against the Swarm, which put the game on ice by surging to a 55-38 lead at halftime.

St. Louis (20-9) went on to build a 95-64 lead with 6: 58 left in the fourth quarter, when the BayRunners finally showed signs of life, closing the game with a meaningless 13-0 run.

Baltimore coach Herb Brown wasn't impressed.

He blasted his team for lethargic defensive play and endless desire to shoot jump shots.

"Some guys don't want to play defense, and they won't be playing much," Brown said. "We had some terrible breakdowns in the second quarter and wanted to live with the jumpers all night long. Our guys know we have to inside-out the ball to be successful, and we didn't do that tonight. I'm probably carrying some players I shouldn't be. That will change soon. I have to put this team in a position to win."

Brown did bring in a new face yesterday, signing ex-Wake Forest standout Anthony Tucker, a 6-foot-8 forward. Tucker, who once played for the Washington Bullets in the NBA, was a sixth-round pick last summer by the BayRunners in the IBL draft.

Tucker didn't even have time to get his name on his No. 22 jersey last night, but he played more than 17 minutes and had five points and three assists.

"Anthony wasn't in shape, but we saw a little of what he can do," Brown said. "We need his NBA experience, maturity and determination on this team."

While the BayRunners gained Tucker yesterday, they lost guard LaMarr Greer to a possible stress fracture in one foot. Greer could be out for two weeks.

"Not having LaMarr hurt us," Brown said. "We had to use Shawnta [Rogers] a lot more minutes, and St. Louis realized that and took advantage of it. We had nearly 4,000 people here, and we didn't show them much. We just lack a lot of mental discipline."

Pub Date: 2/12/00

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