BayRunners turn over game, 107-99, in San Diego

Baltimore loses 5th in row as road record falls to 2-16

March 17, 2000|By Bryan Rodgers | Bryan Rodgers,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SAN DIEGO -- In the past, the San Diego Stingrays have been the perfect get-well opponent for the BayRunners.

That trend ended last night as the Stingrays held off Baltimore, 107-99, in front of 1,104 fans at the Sports Arena.

Baltimore's losing streak reached five, and the BayRunners continued winless on the road since a victory here last month.

"San Diego didn't play like an 8-32 team tonight," Baltimore coach Terry Truax said. "Obviously, we showed that we can't take any team for granted."

A healthy dose of turnovers steered the BayRunners to defeat. Baltimore (13-28) committed 26 turnovers, tying a season high.

For a while, the BayRunners seemed they might end a run of dismal road performances. Baltimore, which owns a 2-16 road record, started strong, taking a 32-27 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Old habits, however, quickly erased the BayRunners' lead. Baltimore committed 15 turnovers in the opening half, and San Diego converted them into 14 points.

"It seemed like they converted all of our turnovers into points," Traux said. "We didn't do a real good job against their press."

San Diego, a bottom-feeder most of the season, is the only International Basketball League team without 10 wins. Last night's victory improved the Stingrays' record to 9-32.

"We're better now than the last time we faced Baltimore," San Diego coach Jeff Malone said. "The guys are finally maintaining pressure at both ends."

Hot outside shooting almost brought Baltimore back. The BayRunners made 11 of 17 three-point attempts, several in the closing minutes. Baltimore cut San Diego's lead to 95-91 with two minutes left, when LaBradford Smith hit a three-pointer.

On its ensuing possession, San Diego made two free-throws and then took advantage of a BayRunners turnover, raising its lead to eight. Baltimore didn't quit, though, making two more three-pointers in the final minute to pressure the Stingrays. San Diego secured the victory, however, by hitting six straight free-throws.

Lonnie Harrell finished as Baltimore's leading scorer with 19 points, and Mark Blount added 18.

San Diego was led by Saddi Washington with 18 points and Kirk King, who had 17 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

BayRunners 32 22 18 27 -- 99

San Diego 27 26 24 30 -- 107

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