Morgan forgets formula, falls, 67-60

Jenkins-led N.C. A&T foils plans for 2 in row

January 27, 2002|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A series of scoring streaks by North Carolina A&T helped keep Morgan State from starting a streak of its own yesterday.

A winning streak.

Led by Bruce Jenkins, a 6-foot-7 junior from Silver Spring, the Aggies outscored the Bears 14-2, 8-0 and 11-2 in spurts while handing them a 67-60 loss before 2,017 at Hill Field House.

Morgan (1-16 overall, 1-8 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) was shooting for its first back-to-back victories after Monday's two-point win over Bethune-Cookman, which ended a 15-game losing streak.

"Success is something we obviously can't stand," Morgan coach Butch Beard said. "[The Aggies] did what they had to do. They came in here and they played well enough to beat us."

Jenkins, the MEAC's preseason pick as Player of the Year, finished with a game-high 25 points.

Still, despite shooting under 30 percent and falling behind by as many as 11 points in the first half, Morgan, paced by the shooting of center Brandon Reece (7-for-8, 16 points), rallied to briefly take the lead, and had a chance to tie in the final seconds.

But after Curtis King's 15-footer cut the lead to three with 1:15 left, the Bears could get no closer, as Reggie Winkfield's three-pointer rimmed out with 11 seconds left and Cedrick Barrow's inbounds lob pass from under Morgan's basket sailed out of bounds near mid-court.

A pair of foul shots and a breakaway layup by Marque Carringon in the final eight seconds sealed the Bears' fate.

Beard said lack of execution throughout much of the game - which included nearly six minutes without a basket midway through the second half - was no coincidence.

"We were in trouble," Beard said. "I told them this morning when we were at our shoot-around that they were not ready to play. We're not good enough to not be thinking about what we're supposed to do."

While the Bears were flailing, the Aggies (4-13, 3-5) were taking advantage, shooting 58 percent in the second half and winning their third straight game after a 1-13 start.

"We played in spurts," said North Carolina A&T coach Curtis Hunter, a North Carolina player during the mid-1980s. "Morgan's not that bad of a team - they just couldn't hit any shots. They outrebounded us, and that's pretty much what kept them in the game."

Morgan looked strong early, taking a 7-2 lead on Curtis King's put-back four minutes into the game.

For the next eight minutes, however, the Aggies dominated, tightening their defense, forcing the Bears into poor shots and embarking on a 14-2 run to take a 16-9 lead. Morgan went 2-for-18 from the field during the stretch.

NORTH CAROLINA A&T - R. Carter 0-0 0-0 0, Carrington 2-4 2-2 6, Koger 2-6 0-2 4, Ferguson 1-3 0-0 2, Jenkins 8-13 9-12 25, V. Carter 4-5 1-3 9, Beckwith 2-5 0-0 5, Debro 1-8 0-0 2, Taalib 5-9 4-4 14, Traore 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-53 16-23 67. MORGAN STATE - Winkfield 1-10 2-2 4, Barrow 1-5 4-5 6, Dukes 3-7 1-2 9, Reece 7-8 2-2 16, King3-8 2-2 8, Grandy 0-2 0-0 0, McNeil 1-2 0-0 2, Stallings 0-0 0-0 0, Scott 1-1 0-0 2, Fisher 0-1 0-0 0, Snipes 1-3 0-0 2, Andrews 5-9 1-4 11. Totals 24-56 12-17 60.

Halftime-N.C. A&T 30-21. 3-point goals-N.C. A&T 1-11 (Beckwith 1-4, Koger 0-1, V. Carter 0-1, Debro 0-5), Morgan 2-11 (Dukes 2-5, Fisher 0-1, Winkfield 0-5). Fouled out-none. Rebounds-N.C. A&T 29 (Jenkins 10), Morgan 36 (King 5). Assists-N.C. A&T 7 (Carrington 2), Morgan 8 (Winkfield, Barrow, Dukes 2). Total fouls- N.C. A&T 19, Morgan 20. A-2,017.

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