Bethune-Cookman ousts UMES despite 40 from Trotter, 82-70

In MEAC first round, Wildcats score third win this season over Hawks

College Basketball

March 06, 2002|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

RICHMOND, Va. - Maryland-Eastern Shore could not complete the low-seed sweep in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference men's tournament yesterday.

A day after No. 11 Morgan State and No. 10 Coppin State - the bottom two seeds - pulled first-round upsets, the ninth-seeded Hawks faltered in the second half and lost to Bethune-Cookman, 82-70, at Arthur Ashe Center.

All-MEAC forward Richard Toussaint and guard Brian Cox both had individual scoring spurts after the break, carrying the Wildcats to their third victory over UMES this season.

It was a frustrating ending to a once-promising season for the young Hawks (11-18).

"We're still learning how to do a lot of things," said coach Thomas Trotter. "We were 8-8 at one point and then went 3-10 the rest of the way. I'm kind of disappointed because I thought we'd do better."

The coach's son, Tee Trotter, did his utmost to keep the season alive, discarding an unproductive first half of outside shooting for drives through the middle and finishing with 40 points. He was 19-for-20 from the foul line.

"That's the first time I've had 40 since high school," said the sophomore guard, who prepped in Las Cruces, N.M.

Still, UMES never led after halftime following a binge of 11 consecutive Wildcats points by Toussaint (24 overall) that carried his team into a 53-44 lead.

"Toussaint just put them on his back and carried them where they needed to go," said Trotter Sr. "He's a tough player."

Several times, the Hawks shaved the margin to five before Cox (21 points) erupted for 10 in a row and settled the issue.

"A couple times the shot clock was winding down and I had to shoot," said Cox, a homegrown senior from Daytona Beach, Fla., who packed 15 points into the second half.

Coach Trotter said the Hawks were hampered by the ankle problems of senior guard Josh Hickman, who went 1-for-9 from three-pont range and scored only three points.

"He was hobbling, but I felt he deserved the right to go out there," said Trotter. "If he hits three or four of those, it's a different game. We needed somebody else to step up and didn't get it."

The Hawks received 11 points and 12 rebounds from freshman forward Justin Bowen, a budding star in the MEAC.

But while Bethune Cookman (13-16) collected 30 points from the bench, mostly from Cox, UMES got just nine.

"We dismissed some seniors and wound up with 10 guys," said Trotter Sr. "We just need more talent. It's not where it needs to be."

UMES-Hickman 3, Trotter 40, Bowen 11, Allen 0, Newson 7, Horton 0, Campbell 2, Joiner 5, Smith 0, Thomas 0, Trotman 2. Totals: 21-68 23-28 70.

BETHUNE-COOKMAN-Cage 5, Riddick 10, Larmond 3, Toussaint 24, Ba 10, King 2, Cox 21, Carter 0, Daniels 2, Wash 5. Totals: 28-54 21-24 82.

Halftime-Bethune-Cookman 36-33. 3-point goals: UMES 5 (Trotter 3, Hickman, Joiner), Bethune-Cookman 5 (Cox 2, Riddick 2, Toussaint).

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