Targeting conference lead, Hampton handles Morgan

Undermanned Bears offer little threat in 75-59 loss

February 16, 2003|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

A Hampton team struggling to overtake front-running South Carolina State in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference took advantage of numerous Morgan State shortages last night at Hill Field House.

Missing suspended leading scorer Randy Dukes and a major rebounder in Douglas Sims, the Bears were no threat to the two-time defending league champions and dropped a 75-59 decision that was never in doubt.

Morgan coach Butch Beard said Dukes and Sims will be missing indefinitely "for conduct detrimental to the team" but wouldn't elaborate. "Whether or not they would have made a difference in this game I doubt."

A combination of Hampton's inside superiority with David Johnson (20 points), in particular, and the Bears' woeful marksmanship from the field (3-for-24 to start the game) made it a struggle for Morgan (5-18, 4-9).

"Every game is a much needed one for us now," Hampton coach Bobby Collins said. "We've got a lot of talent, but we're trying to get the chemistry flowing. We need a little help from somebody against South Carolina State, too."

The basket seemed to have a cover on it for the Bears during a 10-minute, first-half stretch when Hampton (13-8, 9-3) spurted from an 11-9 edge to a comfortable 27-11 lead. A Bears spurt near the end of the half closed the gap slightly, but all doubt ended after the break.

With Johnson dominating inside and Devin Green (18 points, 8 rebounds) hitting two big baskets, the Pirates unleashed a 12-2 run to roar in front by 22 points. Morgan's shooting warmed up thereafter, but it was too late.

"Any time we come up against somebody bigger, we just don't match up," said Beard. "They had lost a few lately [four of five] and they came in here wanting to win badly."

Hampton has beaten the Bears nine straight times, including twice this season without its departed leader, guard Tommy Adams, the MEAC player of the year.

Two freshmen - Isaiah Davis and Ronald Timus - topped Morgan with 13 points apiece, while starting guards Cedrick Barrow and Sam Brand were a combined 0-for-12 from three-point range and 1-for-17 overall.

HAMPTON-Green 6-10 5-6 18, Jefferson 0-4 2-2 2, James 0-3 0-0 0, Hairston 5-9 2-4 12, Johnson 8-12 4-7 20, Didlake 0-1 0-0 0, Granger 3-8 2-2 11, Purvis 2-2 0-0 5, McNeal 0-0 1-2 1, Pitts 2-3 0-0 4, Hughes 1-2 0-1 2. Totals 27-54 16-24 75. MORGAN STATE-Barrow 1-9 3-6 5, Timus 3-8 6-6 13, Brand 0-8 2-2 2, Andrews 3-6 4-7 10, Pellerin 0-1 3-4 3, Snipes 1-4 0-0 2, Grandy 0-0 0-0 0, Williams 2-10 0-0 4, Davis 3-4 5-6 13, Patrick 2-2 0-0 4, Fischer 1-1 0-0 2, Kilpatrick 0-0 0-0 0, Nesbitt 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 16-53 24-33 59. Half: Hampton, 32-20. 3-point goals: H 5-16 (Granger 3-7, Purvis 1-2, Green 1-3, James 0-1, Jefferson 0-1, Hairston 0-2); MS 3-21 (Davis 2-2, Timus 1-2, Snipes 0-2, Williams 0-3, Barrow 0-5, Brand 0-7). Rebounds: H 39 (Jefferson 9); MS 32 (Andrews 8). Assists: H 19 (Jefferson 8); MS 8 (Williams 3). Total fouls: H 26, MS 19. Fouled out: Pitts. A: 532.

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