Morgan's miseries continue in OT loss

Dukes excels with 24, but can't hit winner in 81-79 loss to S.C. State

College Basketball

January 05, 2003|By Kevin Van Valkenburg | Kevin Van Valkenburg,SUN STAFF

Morgan State's men's basketball team measured its agony in inches yesterday.

Trailing South Carolina State by a point with just seconds remaining in overtime, the Bears had the ball in the hands of their best shooter, Randy Dukes, who had an open look at the basket for the win.

However, Dukes' three-point attempt with four seconds left was just inches too far, and after coralling the rebound, South Carolina State had an 81-79 victory.

"I just missed the shot," Dukes said. "There is no excuse. There was some confusion at the end, but I was pretty sure I was going to get a good look. It's one I've got to knock down."

The miss put a damper on an otherwise excellent game from Dukes. The 6-foot-3 senior guard led Morgan State (1-11) with 24 points, scoring 16 in the first half to help the struggling Bears take a 41-33 lead at intermission. Morgan hit seven first-half three-pointers, four of them by Dukes.

But the second half was a different story as Morgan went cold from outside, and simply could not find a way to slow down Bulldogs forward Thurman Zimmerman, a 6-foot-5 sophomore.

Zimmerman scored 22 of his 24 points in the second half and carried the Bulldogs (3-7) to a sloppy, but important MEAC victory.

"Zimmerman just wasn't ready to play in the first half," said Bulldogs coach Cy Alexander. "He didn't bring any intensity to the court and he just wasn't in to the game. We told him in the second half to step it up, and that's exactly what he did."

Zimmerman took the ball inside for several easy baskets to help the Bulldogs get back in the game, and with three minutes left in regulation he gave South Carolina State a 71-64 lead with his second three-pointer of the game.

"Once I hit a few shots, I felt like I was in the zone," Zimmerman said. "I didn't feel like anyone could stop me."

Morgan State clawed back, thanks to several big baskets from Baltimore native Sam Brand, who added 22 points for the Bears. But with the game tied at 73 in regulation, Morgan missed its best chance to win when point guard Cedrick Barrow couldn't convert on a drive to the basket as time expired. Barrow protested that he drew contact as he went up to shoot, but no foul was called.

In overtime, Zimmerman scored five straight points before fouling out to give the Bulldogs the lead for good.

"I'm just extremely frustrated right now," said Morgan State coach Butch Beard. "I don't know what to say. We had a chance to win and we didn't get it done."

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE--Heath 3-7 3-6 9, Gilmore 3-6 4-6 10, Seels 0-1 0-0 0, Du. Braddick 2-6 5-6 10, Zimmerman 8-12 6-8 24, Malone 3-7 3-6 10, Judge 0-2 0-1 0, Da. Braddick 1-1 0-0 2, Ramsey 5-7 1-2 11, Trapp 2-3 0-0 5. Totals 27-52 22-35 81. MORGAN STATE--Barrow 1-6 8-8 11, Timus 0-0 0-0 0, Brand 9-18 0-0 22, Dukes 10-22 0-0 24, Andrews 4-7 2-2 10, Sims 0-3 1-2 1, Snipes 0-0 0-0 0, Grandy 3-4 0-0 6, Williams 1-2 0-0 3, Patrick 1-1 0-2 2, Pellerin 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 29-63 11-16 79. Half--Morgan State, 41-33. 3-point goals--S.C. State 5-13 (Trapp 1-1, Zimmerman 2-3, Du. Braddick 1-2, Malone 1-5, Judge 0-1), Morgan State 10-28 (Williams 1-1, Dukes 4-10, Brand 4-12, Barrow 1-4, Grandy 0-1). Fouled out--Zimmerman, Sims, Patrick. Rebounds--S.C. State 39 (Du. Braddick, Zimmerman 7), Morgan State 30 (Andrews 8). Assists--S.C. State 6 (Zimmerman, Da. Braddick 2), Morgan State 13 (Barrow, Andrews, Sims, Williams 2). Total fouls--S.C. State 19, Morgan State 29. A--N/A.

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