St. Louis sputters, then swamps BayRunners

League leaders use 20-0 run to pull away in 106-89 win

March 26, 2000|By Keith Schildroth | Keith Schildroth,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Swarm coach Bernie Bickerstaff is a perfectionist. His team is in first place in the Western Conference of the International Basketball League and the Swarm has the best record in the league.

He had even more to be happy about after watching his club defeat the Baltimore BayRunners, 106-89, at Family Arena last night. But he found it difficult to find something positive to say about the win.

"We can't turn it on and turn it off in this game," Bickerstaff said. "Sometimes we feel like we can do that and you can't. That shows a lack of professionalism. I don't like the way we finished this game."

The Swarm, which improved to 36-13, started quickly, sputtered and then finally put the BayRunners (13-33) away for good in the second half.

The game was close for part of the first half. St. Louis led 33-29 after the first quarter, but the BayRunners cut the advantage to 43-42 with 4: 50 left in the second quarter before the Swarm went on a 20-0 run.

Lazarus Sims and Danny Johnson hit back-to-back three-pointers to make it 59-52 with 1: 51 left in the first half on the way to a 63-42 halftime advantage.

The BayRunners shot 44 percent from the field in the first half; the Swarm shot 59 percent.

The BayRunners started to chip away at the lead in the third quarter, but they never recovered from the Swarm's late first-half run.

"This game got away from us," Bickerstaff said. "We can't play like this in this league and expect to be a winning basketball team."

Derek Grimm led the Swarm with 19 points. Doug Smith had 13 and Versile Shaw, Antwain Smith and Byron Houston had 12 each.

Shawnta Rogers led the BayRunners with 16 points.

BayRunners 29 13 17 30 -- 89

St. Louis 33 30 20 23 -- 106

BAYRUNNERS -- Smith 3-7 1-2 9, Lee 4-9 2-2 13, Harrell 0-0 0-0 0, Greer 0-0 0-0 0, Wilson 3-7 1-2 9, Tucker 3-8 1-2 7, Elliot 4-17 0-0 10, Blount 0-0 0-0 0, Werdann 2-4 2-2 6, Dabbs 5-8 0-2 11, Goodrich 3-8 2-3 8, Rogers 6-13 1-2 16. Totals 33-81 10-17 89.

ST. LOUIS -- Abdul-Jabbar 1-2 0-0 2, Sims 4-9 1-3 10, Bullard 2-5 0-0 4, Claggett 2-4 2-2 8, Smith 4-10 4-4 12, Houston 4-8 4-5 12, Tarver 0-1 0-0 0, Johnson 5-15 2-4 14, Hollender 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 4-11 4-6 13, Grimm 7-10 2-4 19, Shaw 5-8 2-3 12. Totals 38-83 21-31 106.

3-point goals--BayRunners 13-28 (Lee 3-6, Rogers 3-7, Wilson 2-3, Smith 2-4, Elliot 2-4, Dabbs 1-2, Goodrich 0-2); St. Louis 9-25 (Grimm 3-4, Claggett 2-3, Johnson 2-9, Smith 1-2, Sims 1-3, Abdul-Jabbar 0-1, Smith 0-1). Rebounds--BayRunners 46 (Elliot 13); St. Louis 56 (Houston, Smith 11). Assists--BayRunners 15 (Goodrich, Rogers 4); St. Louis 29 (Sims 8). Total fouls--BayRunners 24, St. Louis 17. A--5,884.

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