Lack of `D' deflates BayRunners, 100-96

Wire-to-wire Trenton win leaves Truax in a funk

February 28, 2000|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

For the first time in his two-week tenure as BayRunners coach, Terry Truax truly felt disappointed.

The source of his discomfort was the BayRunners' defense, which allowed Trenton to shoot close to 50 percent in last night's 100-96 loss in front of 2,974 at the Baltimore Arena.

It was a game in which the BayRunners trailed from start to finish, the latest in a series of poor efforts against the Stars. The BayRunners are 2-6 against Trenton, including a 12-point home loss in the opener.

"I'm disappointed in our whole team relative to our approach to the game and our lack of effort on the defensive end," Truax said. "And our lack of focus relative to our offense."

Surprisingly enough, the BayRunners still had a chance to win. Guard Shawnta Rogers' free throws with just over four minutes left cut the Stars' lead to 92-90.

After Trenton guard Ryan Lothridge made a free throw and a jumper to give his team a 95-90 lead, BayRunners forward Anthony Tucker cut the lead to three on a layup with 1: 05 remaining.

But on the Stars' next possession, forward Lloyd Daniels hit a fadeaway jumper with a hand in his face and his foot on the three-point line to open a 97-92 spread with 36 seconds remaining. It was a fitting end for Daniels, who just about single-handedly stopped every BayRunners attempt to gain the lead last night.

"I think we thought we were turning the corner to where we match up pretty good against teams," said forward Steve Goodrich, who finished with 12 points and a season-high 10 rebounds. "But this was a setback, along with the loss to Richmond. We do match up well against those teams; we just need to get focused and beat them."

Daniels, who went from Baltimore to Trenton earlier this season for guard LaMarr Greer, shot 12-for-25 from the field for 36 points, and also pulled down eight rebounds.

His most impressive display came in the third quarter, when he scored 16 of his points.

The BayRunners had cut a 52-40 halftime deficit down to three early in the third quarter before Daniels made four of five three-point shots to stretch the lead back to 11 heading into the fourth.

"I think everyone in the arena found out why Lloyd Daniels was the BayRunners' No. 1 draft pick," Truax said. "He certainly is a savvy player. He's a very good offensive player, and he picked up his defense a little bit today."

As did the entire Stars team. The BayRunners were held to 37 percent shooting for the game although they put up 97 shots.

The problem was the kind of shots that were going up. Twenty-six were from three-point territory, with nine going in.

"When you're on offense and take the ill-advised perimeter shot, there's a long rebound, the other team gets the break and the advantage," Truax said.

"The key to our success for us is defense," said forward Rodney Elliott, who was one of six BayRunners to score in double digits with 13 points. "We lack defensive intensity sometimes."

TRENTON -- Lothridge 2-1 4-7 8, Worthy 2-6 0-0 5, Hames 0-0 0-0 0, Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Edwards 5-13 0-1 10, Joseph 3-3 2-2 8, Hyman 3-3 0-0 6, Grant 0-0 0-0 0, Tutt 6-10 1-2 14, Daniels 12-25 6-7 36, Woodward 2-4 3-3 7, Maddox 0-0 0-0 0, Young 3-4 0-0. Totals 38-78 16-22 100.

BAYRUNNERS -- Smith 3-5 1-1 8, Rogers 2-9 7-7 11, Lee 4-11 3-3 13, Elliott 6-10 0-0 13, Blount 1-4 0-2 2, Goodrich 5-11 1-4 12, Harrell 6-13 0-0 16, Wilson 2-11 1-2 5, Greer 0-0 0-0 0, Dabbs 2-9 2-3 6, Werdann 0-0 0-0 0, Tucker 5-13 0-0 10. Totals 36-97 15-22 96.

3-point goals -- Trenton 8-26 (Worthy 1-4, Tutt 1-2, Daniels 6-15), BayRunners 9-26 (Smith 1-2, Lee 2-7, Elliott 1-2, Goodrich 1-1, Harrell 4-7). Fouled out -- Rogers. Rebounds -- Trenton 51 (Hyman 15), BayRunners 56 (Goodrich 10). Assists -- Trenton 16 (Lothridge 7), BayRunners 9 (Goodrich 3). Total fouls -- Trenton 20, BayRunners 22. A -- 2,974.

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