Mid-game suspension mars UMBC's win

McClurkin hears word in 91-70 defeat of LIU

January 17, 2002|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

An easy, 91-70 victory for the UMBC men's basketball team over winless Long Island University came with a hefty price and message last night when coach Tom Sullivan suspended starting forward Will McClurkin in the middle of the game for "conduct detrimental to the team."

The announcement came during halftime after McClurkin scored five points in nine minutes early in the first half.

The sophomore, who started the night second on the team in scoring at 11 points per game and was averaging 6.4 rebounds, sat at the end of the bench in his warm-ups for much of the second half.

After the game, Sullivan said he was not happy with McClurkin's demeanor on the bench when he was taken out and announced the suspension would be for at least three games.

"It's never fun for a coach to suspend a kid, but it's something that's necessary for the cohesion of the team," Sullivan said. "I don't think he was buying into what we were doing. I think maybe he was just thinking about himself.

"We can't have that -- and again, it's been a situation with Will where we've informed him that this type of action could occur and now it does occur. I think he has to fully take ownership to what did happen and I think he will."

The Retrievers (9-5, 5-2 in the Northeast Conference) got a 17-point performance from starting guard Malik Wallace and, while some of the other starters struggled, double figures came from reserves Andre Williams (15 points), Eugene Young (13 points) and Kareem Washington (12 points).

"These are players that I think are going to be good players, but we have, supposedly, better players in front of them, but I don't think those kids came mentally prepared for the game," said Sullivan.

"If we go down the order of that, I don't think that Will was ready to play, I don't think Ron [Yates] and I don't think Peter [Mulligan] was ready to play. They came in and they thought we were sending this one in, and behind them you have kids that really want to play, want to get in and are hungry."

The recent surge by the Retrievers has come largely as a result of strong second-half play. Last night at RAC Arena, it wasn't necessary against Long Island, which fell to 0-14 overall and 0-7 in conference play.

In the final five minutes of the first half, the Retrievers maintained a frantic pace on defense and made sure to capitalize at the other end, scoring eight straight points early in the run and taking a 45-27 halftime lead that was never threatened.

The Retrievers had a 26-20 advantage when Sullivan called time with 5:07 left. Washington then responded first, finishing off a steal with a slam, and off went the Retrievers.

With freshman center Andrew Feeley closing out the 8-0 run with a basket inside, the Retrievers took a 34-20 lead with 3:11 left.

LONG ISLAND--Bey 7-18 2-6 17, Gary 2-3 6-6 10, Taylor 3-7 2-3 8, Dobie 2-15 9-10 13, Knox 2-5 0-0 5, Bell 2-2 2-2 6, Leslie 1-1 0-0 2, Yearwood 3-4 0-0 9. Totals 22-55 21-27 70.

UMBC--McClurkin 2-8 1-1 5, Mulligan 2-7 0-1 4, Feeley 3-9 0-0 6, Gogerty 2-4 1-1 6, Wallace 7-17 1-2 17, Washington 4-7 2-2 12, Wilson 4-7 0-0 8, Yates 1-2 0-0 3, Snyder 1-1 0-0 2, Williams 6-7 3-3 15, Young 4-4 5-5 13. Totals 36-73 13-15 91.

Halftime--UMBC, 45-27. 3-point goals--Long Island 5-17 (Yearwood 3-3, Knox 1-2, Bey 1-5, Dobie 0-7); UMBC 6-16 (Yates 1-1, Washington 2-3, Gogerty 1-3, Wallace 2-6, Wilson 0-1). Fouled out--none. Rebounds--Long Island 38 (Taylor 12); UMBC 36 (Mulligan, Feeley, Williams 6). Assists--Long Island 12 (Dobie 8); UMBC 25 (Wallace 7). Total fouls--Long Island 15; UMBC 16. A--1,112.

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