Morgan's pain multiplied in loss

Within second of 1st win, Bears fall on UMES tip-in, 60-59

record drops to 0-14

College Basketball

January 13, 2002|By Bo Smolka | Bo Smolka,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

On the verge of its first win of the season yesterday, Morgan State instead suffered its most agonizing loss.

Justin Bowen's tip-in at the buzzer gave Maryland Eastern Shore a 60-59 win, leaving the Bears with their 15th straight defeat dating to last year.

Until that tip-in, the Bears (0-14, 0-6 MEAC) had led for the final four minutes.

A shot-clock violation with 8.5 seconds left gave the ball to UMES (6-8, 3-2 MEAC) and, after a midcourt timeout with five seconds left, Hawks guard Josh Hickman drove the lane and put up a jumper that hit the rim and bounced away.

Bowen got free underneath and tipped in the rebound as the horn sounded.

"When Josh put up the shot, it looked good," Bowen said. "I was always taught to attack the glass, so I just ran in there. They didn't box me out, and I had a good look."

As the Hawks mobbed Bowen at midcourt, Morgan's players fell to the floor.

"I feel sorry for the kids because they still need to learn how to win ballgames," Morgan coach Butch Beard said.

"It never should have gotten to the last play because we should have been able to take care of business down the stretch."

Brandon Reece led Morgan with 15 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, and Curtis King had 12 points, including a baseline bank shot with 2:32 left that gave the Bears a 57-52 lead.

But the Hawks answered behind point guard Tee Trotter (13 points), who was held in check for much of the game.

Trotter, who had been averaging a team-best 16 points, scored six in the final two minutes, and his two free throws with 43 seconds left cut Morgan's lead to 59-58.

After a Morgan timeout with 26 seconds left, the Bears failed to get into an offensive rhythm. With the shot clock winding down, Randy Dukes forced a jumper that failed to touch the rim, giving possession to the Hawks with 8.5 seconds left.

Facing the team it had last beaten, in the first round of last year's MEAC tournament, Morgan jumped to an 18-10 lead, but that advantage dissolved once the UMES perimeter shooters found their range.

Hickman, Trotter and Kevin Darby combined for four three-pointers during a 15-0 run that gave the Hawks a 25-18 lead with 8:20 left in the first half.

Morgan, though, refused to wilt. The Bears closed to within 35-31 at halftime, and then held UMES to six points in the first 10 minutes of the second half, taking their biggest lead of the second half at 47-41 with 10:33 remaining in the game.

"It's too bad they had to lose," UMES coach Thomas Trotter said. "That's a good group of guys and a good coach. He's going to get it going here, but it's going to take some time."

Said Beard: "We'll continue to work through this. The kids just have to go out and find a way to win. It's just that simple."

UMES-Trotter 4-14 4-4 13, Joiner 1-3 0-0 3, Banks 0-1 0-0 0, Bowen 4-7 2-5 10, Thomas 0-2 0-0 0, Hickman 2-4 6-6 12, Campbell 0-0 0-0 0, Smith 0-2 1-3 1, Darby 3-6 0-0 9, Newsome 5-10 2-6 12, Smith 0-1 0-0 0, Trotman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-50 15-24 60. MORGAN ST-Winkfield 1-7 2-2 4, Barrow 2-8 2-2 7, Dukes 5-16 1-2 11, Reece 6-6 3-6 15, King 4-8 4-5 12, Grandy 0-0 0-0 0, McNeil 2-5 1-2 5, Snipes 0-2 1-2 1, Andrews 1-2 2-2 4, Ward 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-55 16-23 59. Halftime-UMES 35, Morgan St. 31. 3-Point goals-UMES 7-16 (Trotter 1-4, Joiner 1-2, Banks 0-1, Hickman 2-3, Darby 3-6), Morgan St. 1-10 (Winkfield 0-5, Barrow 1-3, Dukes 0-1, Snipes 0-1). Fouled out-Reece. Rebounds-UMES (Newsome 10), Morgan St. (Reece 14). Assists-UMES (Trotter 4), Morgan St. (Barrow, King 3). Total fouls-UMES 20, Morgan St. A-579.

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