Top-seeded Hampton shows Morgan State the exit door, 76-64

No. 11 seed Bears KO'd in MEAC quarterfinals

College Basketball

March 08, 2001|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

RICHMOND, Va. - Morgan State guard Reggie Winkfield bobbled the ball, and in the time it took for him to control it, the Hampton defense was all over him.

A short time later, Hampton was all over Morgan State en route to a 76-64 win yesterday in the quarterfinals of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference men's basketball tournament.

The Pirates were up 55-51 with eight minutes left when Winkfield, who had made three-pointers on Morgan State's previous two possessions, fumbled a tough pass. Hampton's defense recovered in time so that Winkfield couldn't get off his third straight attempt.

Instead, he had to dribble, and Morgan State (6-23) failed to convert on that possession. The next five minutes produced a 13-4 Pirates run that destroyed any chance of 11th-seeded Morgan State upsetting top-seeded Hampton (22-6).

"That is not a No. 11 seed," Hampton coach Steve Merfeld said of Morgan State. "They are a very good basketball team. They hit a stretch where they lost like 14 in a row and couldn't figure out how to win at that time.

"I think they played exceptionally well coming into this game, winning two of three. I'm very relieved."

The Bears trailed, 36-32, at halftime but were 10 down midway through the second half.

Curtis King then hit a jumper, and Winkfield hit those two three-pointers for an 8-2 Bears run that cut the lead to four. The Pirates responded with three-pointers of their own - the first from guard Marseille Brown to go up 58-51, and the second and most damaging from Tommy Adams with four minutes left to put them up 65-55."[Winkfield] is a shooter, so we wanted him to get those looks," Morgan State coach Chris Fuller said. "He made some tough shots. But they equalized that because they hit from the outside, too."

MEAC Player of the Year Tarvis Williams led the Pirates with 28 points and 10 rebounds. He drew much attention from Morgan State's defense, freeing things up for Brown and Adams to shoot from outside. The Pirates made 7 of 15 three-pointers.

Brown, who was suffering from a left ankle sprain, made 5 of 10 threes and finished with 21 points.

"It's difficult because if you double [Williams], they can knock in the perimeter shot," Fuller said. "At any point they can put four guys out there who can really shoot the ball. So you play behind him, he's tough. If you front him, he jumps well enough that they can throw over and he can get the dunk. And if you double down on him, he's going to find the shooters on the outside."

Offensively, the Bears struggled, as they have all season, from the free-throw line. Morgan State was 8-for-15 and only 1-for-7 in the second half.

"That's just been terrible for us," Fuller said. "We practice and we practice, but that has hurt us in a lot of games this year. [Yesterday] if we knock down a few free throws, we might have been a little more competitive."

Hampton started the game with a 13-2 run. The Bears were able to cut the lead to 22-20 after back-to-back shots by Brandon Reece and played even with Hampton the rest of the half.

Williams and center Cleveland Davis established themselves down low in that first half, combining for nine of the team's 20 rebounds at halftime.

"They hit the glass really well and got a lot second-chance shots that really hurt us," King said.

MORGAN STATE - Barrow 2-9 0-0 4, Dukes 5-12 0-0 12, King 7-15 2-5 16, Canady 2-3 0-0 4, Lee 1-2 0-2 2, Winkfield 5-16 0-0 14, Rice 0-0 0-0 0, McNeill 0-0 2-2 2, Reece 2-3 4-4 8, Frederick 0-0 0-0 0, Ward 0-0 0-0 0, Sims 1-1 0-2 2. Totals 25-61 8-15 64.

HAMPTON - Brown 6-14 4-4 21, L. Howard 1-5 2-4 4, Jefferson 4-6 0-0 8, Adams 4-8 0-0 10, Williams 11-19 6-9 28, Didlake 0-2 0-0 0, Davis 2-5 0-1 4, James 0-0 1-2 1, Purvis 0-0 0-0 0, Pitts 0-0 0-0 0, A. Howard 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-59 13-20 76.

Halftime-Hampton 36, Morgan St. 32. 3-point goals-Morgan St. 6-15 (Winkfield 4-9, Dukes 2-5, Barrow 0-1), Hampton 7-15 (Brown 5-10, Adams 2-4, Davis 0-1). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Morgan St. 34 (Dukes 7), Hampton 40 (Williams, Davis 10). Assists-Morgan St. 11 (four tied with 2), Hampton (Jefferson 4). Total fouls-Morgan St. 14, Hampton 13. A-479.

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