Stuff rights itself to stop BayRunners

Losing streak hits 8

Cincinnati wins, 91-88

March 24, 2000|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

BayRunners coach Terry Truax was proud yet disappointed with the outcome of last night's game.

The proud feeling came from watching the BayRunners erase an 18-point deficit and have a chance to win. The disappointment came from the fact that they did not, losing 91-88 in front of 3,256 at Baltimore Arena.

The BayRunners (13-31) had a chance with less than a minute left and the scored tied at 90 to take the lead in a game in which they trailed most of the way.

But forward Anthony Tucker's shot in the paint with 23 seconds left missed, giving Cincinnati (33-13) a chance for the final shot.

Stuff guard Roderick Blackney lost the ball driving down the lane with five seconds left, but center Soumaila Samake picked it up, laid it in, and got fouled by Baltimore forward Steve Goodrich with 1.6 seconds left to put the Stuff up 90-88.

Samake converted the foul shot, and the BayRunners' Shawnta Rogers' desperation three hit off the rim, sending them to their eighth straight loss.

"We are still coming up short," Truax said. "But from a coaching perspective, how can you fault a team that makes a comeback like that and puts you in position to win the game? You will take that any day of the week against a first-place team."

Not having center Mark Blount for the last two minutes hurt the BayRunners. Blount, who had been having an outstanding game shooting 7-of-12 for 17 points, injured an ankle late in the final period.

Blount and Goodrich picked up their play in the absence of Brent Dabbs, who missed the game with a sore knee. The two combined for 36 points, and fellow front-court mate Tucker added 16.

All were instrumental in a 20-4 run to start the second half. The BayRunners' defense, which held the Stuff to 2-of-16 shooting during the run, came back from a sloppy first quarter.

The run erased a 15-point Stuff lead and gave the BayRunners their first lead on Lonnie Harrell free thows with 4: 25 left since the beginning of the game.

Cincinnati 35 25 14 14 3 -- 91

BayRunners 23 22 24 19 0 -- 88

CINCINNATI -- Turner 5-14 4-4 14, Blackney 2-10 7-8 12, Kingsbury 0-2 0-0 0, Brown 4-7 0-0 10, Fowlkes 7-14 4-8 18, Edwards 0-2 0-0 0, Taylor 0-1 0-0 0, Sanders 7-10 2-2 18, Samaka 7-15 1-1 15, Hickey 0-0 0-0 0, Williams 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 34-79 18-21 91.

BAYRUNNERS -- Smith 1-2 2-2 5, Rogers 3-10 0-0 5, Lee 2-3 2-2 7, Elliott 2-10 4-8 8, Blount 8-13 3-4 19, Goodrich 7-11 3-4 17, Harrell 2-8 4-6 8, Wilson 1-1 0-0 2, Greer 0-0 0-0 0, Dabbs 0-0 0-0 0, Werdann 0-0 0-0 0, Tucker 7-12 2-2 16. Totals 33-70 20-26 88.

3-point goals--Cincinnati 5-14 (Sanders 2-3, Brown 2-4, Blackney 1-3, Edwards 0-1, Fowlkes 0-1, Kingsbury 0-2); BayRunners 2-11 (Smith 1-1, Lee 1-2, Goodrich 0-1, Elliott 0-2, Rogers 0-2, Harrell 0-3). Fouled out--Brown, Fowlkes. Rebounds--Cincinnati 42 (Samaka 10); BayRunners 45 (Rogers 10). Assists--Cincinnati 12 (Turner 4); BayRunners 16 (Elliott, Rogers 3). Total fouls--Cincinnati 21, BayRunners 23. A--3,256.

BayRunners tonight

Opponent: Richmond Rhythm

Site: Baltimore Arena

Time: 7: 30

Outlook: Baltimore's games against Richmond until the end of the season have heightened importance, because the teams are fighting for the East Conference's third and final playoff spot. The Rhythm has a 4-2 series advantage, with four games left after tonight. Richmond also has passed the BayRunners in the standings. Rhythm G A. J. English is second in the league in scoring, averaging 21 points. The BayRunners still will be without G LaMarr Greer, who is recovering from an injured foot and should return next week.

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