Morgan turns up heat on defense

Bears rout UMES, 90-69, hold MEAC's top scorer without a field goal

College Basketball

February 02, 2003|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Morgan State played with desire and purpose yesterday and blanked the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference's leading scorer from the field.

With Tee Trotter rationed to 11 foul-line points, the Bears soared away from visiting Maryland-Eastern Shore with a 49-point second half and romped to a 90-69 win, their biggest victory margin in 11 years.

Trotter entered the televised game with a 25.6 scoring average in MEAC competition and was at 22.5 overall. He has twice exceeded his career high this season, the last time by pouring in 42 points in an overtime defeat at Howard Thursday.

"Never," Trotter replied when asked if he had ever played a game without getting a field goal. "None of my [11] shots were short. They just weren't going."

"We probably went to the well once too many times with Tee," said Thomas Trotter, UMES head coach and the player's father. "He played more than 40 minutes the other night. He's been able to bounce back before."

The Hawks were able to keep pace in an even first half because Trotter was giving up the ball to teammates who were scoring. UMES (2-16, 2-7) received three three-pointers from Brent Campbell and nine points from Antoine Joiner to stay abreast at 41 by shooting 52.2 percent.

After the break, it was an entirely different matter. Morgan (4-15, 3-6) stepped up the defensive pressure, vaulted to a huge lead by feeding off its takeaways, then forced the Hawks into desperation shots down the stretch.

A halftime tongue-lashing from coach Butch Beard got the Bears inspired.

"We played with a lot of emotion and a lot of energy," said Beard. "We really played like we practiced. The second unit came in for a five-minute span and gave us a lot of momentum. If we continue to play like that, we'll win a lot of games."

The Bears were ahead 51-49 when they turned on the defensive jets, scored 11 straight and took total control. UMES never got closer than eight the rest of the way.

"Coach got into us real good at halftime," said Morgan point guard Cedrick Barrow, one of five players who alternated at chasing Trotter around the court. "We gave up 41 the first half, and that was unacceptable. We were really doing it on the defensive end, and that led to a lot of fast-break points."

Morgan finished with 57 percent shooting, thanks to layups created by its defense.

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