Hard-luck Morgan is boosted over UMES by Canady, 76-64

Top scorer King ejected

Bears still gain in MEAC

College Basketball

March 06, 2001|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

RICHMOND, Va. - The win was about 20 minutes old for Morgan State coach Chris Fuller, enough time to start thinking about the next opponent.

But because wins have come so infrequently for the Bears the past couple of years, Fuller could not resist one last show of appreciation.

So in the midst of the team's post-game news conference, Fuller reached over and hugged center Michael Canady, the main reason why 11th-seeded Morgan State beat sixth-seeded UMES, 76-64, yesterday at Arthur Ashe Center.

Canady - with 15 points, six rebounds, three blocks - helped vault Morgan State into the next round tomorrow, where it will play Hampton, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament's top seed.

"It means a lot not only to me but these kids who have been through a lot this year," Fuller said. "We've had a tough couple years. So we had a pretty happy locker room."

The Bears (6-22) advanced despite losing high scorer Curtis King seven minutes into the game.

King, who is averaging 16 points a game, was ejected for a flagrant foul away from the ball during a UMES possession. King's punishment seemed extreme. It appeared that he was only jockeying for defensive position, with no intent to injure. But Fuller did not protest vehemently, and the Bears, who were up 9-4 at the time, were without their best player.

"Anytime you lose a player like Curtis King early, you worry," Fuller said. "But we have kids who can play. It's just that we decided late in the season to start playing and not a minute too soon.

"As players and coaches, we have to learn to keep ourselves under control. Curtis and I are going to have a nice, long talk about emotional control."

With King gone, Canady took over.

Canady, at 6 feet 11, did most of his work in the paint. UMES' tallest player, 6-8 Sanyika Street, had trouble defending the height. Canady shot 6-for-8 from the field and had four assists.

"I felt like I was getting my touches and executing," Canady said. "The offense was pretty good. Everything was balanced."

Said Fuller: "We decided that they couldn't really challenge him. So we made an effort to get him the ball."

With Canady drawing attention down low, the Bears were able to connect on five of six three-pointers. For the game, Morgan State shot 61 percent while holding the Hawks to 38 percent.

UMES (12-16), usually strong on three-pointers, made six of 18.

After a sloppy first couple of minutes, Morgan State built a 19-11 lead with six minutes left. The Hawks cut it to 25-22 with three minutes left, but Morgan State went on a 7-0 run, which started with a Douglas Sims' dunk and ended with a Reggie Winkfield three-pointer from NBA range, to finish off the half.

"The big guys stepped up for them, and they took away our perimeter game," UMES coach Thomas Trotter said. "They gave us some opportunities early but we missed layups. They had 14 turnovers at halftime, and we only had eight. That should have meant we should have been winning but it was the opposite."

The Hawks cut Morgan State's lead, which grew to 13, to 62-56 with just under five minutes left. But the Bears went on an 8-2 run to go up 70-58 with two minutes remaining to seal the outcome.

Morgan State never trailed, and avenged two double-digit losses to UMES during the regular season.

"We're one of the better shooting teams in our league," Fuller said. "In fact, we finished second in the league in offensive field-goal percentage. We can put the ball in the basket. Sometimes, we're not as efficient as we'd like to be. But people came up [yesterday] and really responded."

MORGAN STATE-Barrow, 2-7 5-10 10, Dukes 7-10 1-2 17, King 0-1 0-0 0, Canady 6-8 3-3 15, Lee 2-4 0-0 4, Winkfield 4-7 0-0 10, McNeill 1-2 0-0 2, Reece 4-5 1-5 9, Sims 4-5 1-3 9, Frederick 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-49 11-23 76.

UMES-Hickman 3-8 1-2 8, Trotter 3-13 4-4 12, Smith 3-8 7-12 13, Street 3-7 0-0 6, Newson 3-9 3-5 9, N'Diaye 2-3 1-2 5, Darby4-8 0-0 11, Brown 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-56 16-25 64.

Halftime: Morgan State, 32-22. 3-point goals: Morgan State 5-6 (Barrow 1-1, Dukes 2-2, Winkfield 2-3). Maryland Eastern Shore 6-18 (Hickman 1-2, Trotter 2-9, Smith 0-1, Street 0-1, Darby 3-5).

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