Morgan loses big lead, 7th in row to Norfolk

Jenifer's 30 points aren't enough, 83-77, despite 44-27 bulge in second half

January 09, 2001|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

After spending December on the road, Morgan State was hoping being back at home would provide some needed momentum. But the confines of Hill Field House have been anything but friendly for the Bears.

Morgan State dropped its third consecutive home decision last night, falling, 83-77, to Norfolk State in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference match.

Despite getting 30 points from Anton Jenifer, Morgan (2-9, 1-4) wasn't able to avoid its seventh straight loss. The immediate future looks bleak: The Bears face a road game at unbeaten and 12th-ranked Georgetown tomorrow evening.

Unable to sustain a 17-point second-half advantage, Morgan failed to capitalize on a two-game home stint against MEAC competition as Norfolk State (4-8) remained unbeaten in league play at 4-0.

"It's the same thing every game," said Morgan State coach Chris Fuller. "We lost our intensity. They're a good ballclub that played sluggish in the first half and we had intensity."

A lack of intensity as well as lack of concentration did in the Bears, who missed 17 free throws (28 of 45) last night. Morgan also lost the turnover battle in the latter half, 12-3, after Norfolk State had 14 in the first half to the Bears' three.

Terrance Winston led Norfolk State with 24 points and Derrick Smith contributed 14. Curtis King had 14 points for Morgan and Michael Canady had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Spartans eased away from Morgan at the midway point of the second half, building a 66-59 lead after a layup by Edward Seward with 3:48 remaining.

The Bears got within 66-61 on Canady's basket, but Norfolk received two free throws each from Smith and Corenelius Roberts to thwart any Morgan hopes of a comeback. The Bears have yet to win in four tries when leading at halftime.

"We've just got to keep playing hard and stay positive," said Jenifer. "We thought this [homestand] would turn our season. We're losing close games because we're missing a lot of free throws."

The Bears seemed ready to finally break its losing skid, leading 22-11 early behind nine points from Jenifer (Walbrook High) and seven by Douglas Sims.

Norfolk State scored the next eight, including three-pointers by Smith and Cordell Maxwell to slice the Morgan advantage to 22-19, before a three-pointer byJenifer and baseline jumper by Reggie Winkfield knocked the lead back to 27-19.

The Bears led 42-27 at intermission despite shooting only 12-of-28 and being out-rebounded 23-16. Jenifer was the equalizer with 18 points, including 8-for-12 from the free-throw line.

Jenifer's basket provided Morgan with its largest lead at 44-27 early in the second half and the Bears led 48-34 with 15:48 remaining.

But Norfolk State ran off nine straight to close within five points and change the complexion of the match.

"We couldn't get a real pace of the game," said Norfolk State coach Will Jones. "We just had to be patient. We didn't run tonight and we didn't catch a lot of breaks."

NORFOLK STATE - Mills 3-5 2-4 8, Roberts 2-8 2-5 7, Neal 2-5 1-3 5, Winston 9-15 3-5 24, Dove 3-4 5-6 11, N.Byrd 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 4-5 5-5 14, Maxwell 1-4 0-0 3, Seward 1-2 0-0 2, M.Byrd 0-1 0-0 0, Quick 4-4 1-3 9, Abney 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-53 19-31 83.

MORGAN STATE - King 6-13 2-4 14, Sims 3-8 3-4 9, Canady 4-6 2-6 10, Winkfield 1-6 4-4 6, Jenifer 7-12 13-19 30, Barrow 0-0 0-0 0, McNeill 0-3 2-4 2, Reece 0-1 0-1 0, Dukes 2-6 0-0 4, Fredrick 0-1 2-3 2. Totals 23-56 28-45 77. Halftime-Morgan State 42-27. 3-point goals-Norfolk State 6-16 (Roberts 1-3, Winston 3-6, Dove 0-1, Smith 1-2, Maxwell 1-4); Morgan State 3-9 Jenifer 3-5, King 0-1, Winkfield 0-3). Fouled out-Neal, Quick. Rebounds-Norfolk State 39 (Mills 7); Morgan State 36 (Canady 10). Assists-Norfolk State 14 (Winston, Roberts 4); Morgan State 7 (Jenifer 3). Total fouls-Norfolk State 30; Morgan State 26. A-750.

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