Turnovers sink Morgan women, 59-52

Bears fall to 0-15 as UMES prevails

College Basketball

January 13, 2002|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

The Morgan State women's basketball team let a chance at its first win slip through its fingers yesterday.

Deadlocked with just over six minutes to play against Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference-rival University of Maryland Eastern Shore, the mistake-prone Bears made several costly turnovers and never recovered, falling to the Hawks, 59-52, at Hill Field House.

Junior center Zereena Stephens came off the bench to score 14 points, as UMES improved to 6-8 overall, 3-2 in the MEAC.

The Bears (0-15, 0-6) had hoped that a matchup with the Hawks, the last team Morgan had defeated - 55-45 on Feb. 26 of last year - would be the perfect remedy to their losing ways.

But instead the misery continued for coach Gerard Garlic and his Bears, as they shot just 32 percent from the field, and even more damaging, committed 32 turnovers in their 17th straight loss spanning this season and last.

"Turnovers will get you every time," said Garlic. "If you make them down the stretch and when you need a basket, it is important."

Said Stephens: "We were concerned about [Morgan], but we have a whole new team this year, and we proved that today."

The Hawks closed the first half on a 10-1 run to lead 23-17, and extended their advantage to 36-28 six minutes into the second half on consecutive three-pointers from Octavia Thompson (nine points) and Tekeya Gooden (eight points).

With the Hawks' top player, Destiny Avent, back in the locker room after limping off the court at the 14:52 mark, however, Morgan drew within 38-35 on baskets from Sherie Cornish (team-high 14 points), Calibra Alston and Erinn Coleman.

The Bears tied the score at 45 on a Tasha Neal basket, and eventually led, 47-46, with 3:53 remaining.

It was at that point, however, that turnovers halted the momentum for Morgan, a team that averages 26 giveaways a game.

"The press really helped us and we did a good job of forcing turnovers," said UMES coach Surina Dixon. "They had a lot of problems dealing with us."

Stephens converted inside to give UMES a 48-47 lead, and then after a Cornish basket, Neferteria Franklin and Antoinette Daniels scored to give the Hawks a 52-49 lead with under two minutes to play.

The Hawks, who shot just 1-for-11 from the free-throw line in the first half, hit some clutch free throws down the stretch to thwart Morgan's quest for its first win.

UMES-Avent 2-7 0-1 4, Thompson 2-9 4-6 9, Gooden 2-9 3-8 8, Daniels 1-4 2-6 4, Tucker 1-2 0-3 2, Knox 0-0 0-0 0, Davis 0-0 0-0 0, Blakey 1-1 0-0 2, Okaro 0-2 0-2 0, Miller 2-5 0-2 4, Martin 1-3 0-0 3, Franklin 4-11 1-2 9, Harrington 0-1 0-0 0, Stephens 5-15 4-6 14. Totals 21-69 14-36 59. MORGAN STATE-Alston 3-8 1-3 7, Coleman 1-6 0-0 2, Cornish 5-15 4-6 14, Gardner 4-14 3-4 11, Scott 3-6 2-2 8, Williams 0-0 0-0 0, Warrick 0-0 0-0 0, Cox 3-10 2-4 8, Jackson 0-0 0-0 0, Neal 1-3 0-2 2. Totals 20-62 12-21 52. Halftime-UMES 23-17. 3-point goals-UMES 3-11 (Thompson 1-4, Gooden 1-1, Martin 1-3, Franklin 0-2, Stephens 0-1); Morgan State 0-8 (Coleman 0-2, Cornish 0-3 Gardner 0-1, Cox 0-2). Fouled out-Scott, Alston. Rebounds-UMES 49 (Franklin, Stephens 8); Morgan State 54 (Scott 13). Assists-UMES 9 (Thompson, Blakey 2); Morgan State 8 (Alston, Gardner, Neal). Total fouls-UMES 19; Morgan State 27.

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