BayRunners fall short against Slam, 111-107

Losing streak reaches 16 despite 31 from Greer

April 08, 2000|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Many of the young BayRunners fans in a crowd of 3,356 last night at the Baltimore Arena danced in the aisles and yelled their lungs out for nearly 2 1/2 hours.

They seemed oblivious to the fact that the BayRunners were in last place in the East Division of the International Basketball League and in need of a minor miracle to make the playoffs.

Forget the 15 straight losses. It was definitely showtime off the court all evening for the fans, while on the court the BayRunners wanted to pull out of the long losing streak.

When LaMarr Greer and Rodney Elliott played inspired basketball in long stretches for the BayRunners, it seemed as if the home team was primed to upset the New Mexico Slam.

But the Slam (34-19) had answers for everything Greer and Elliott could throw at it and held on for a 111-107 victory.

So make it 16 consecutive losses for Baltimore and more nightmares for Greer, Elliott and coach Terry Truax.

"I really thought this would be the night we ended this terrible streak," said Elliott, who scored 15 points and made some big baskets down the stretch. "I felt good when I came to the arena tonight, but we had a couple of bad stretches and it killed us."

Greer was hot most of the night and scored a season-high 31 points. At times, it seemed as if the former Florida State star would refuse to allow the streak to reach 16.

The 6-foot-6 Greer threw in shots from every conceivable angle and then some, but could only lower his head and try to describe another loss.

"I'm not really rolling yet," said Greer, who missed 18 games due to a foot injury and had just returned to the lineup. "But I did feel good out there. I hope we can put an end to this misery real soon."

The BayRunners (13-39) are 3-19 under Truax, who looked as if he might turn things around when he first took over the team on Feb. 15.

Truax was 3-3 as the head coach before disaster struck.

"It's just that we're finding a way to lose every night by not playing smart during a couple of two- to three-minute stretches in the third quarter or early in the fourth," said Truax. "I have no problem the way we play at the end."

The BayRunners, who led by as many as five points in the first half last night, were down 68-65 with six minutes left in the third quarter when they hurt themselves with two turnovers and two missed layups in two minutes.

Those mistakes contributed to a 12-2 Slam run for a 75-65 lead, and Baltimore had to play catchup the rest of the night.

New Mexico 27 28 23 33 -- 111

BayRunners 26 28 21 32 -- 107

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