Brand's 27 spark Morgan to 106-72 rout of Fla. A&M

He makes 7 three-pointers as Bears win 2nd in a row

January 06, 2004|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

Morgan State's troubles on the hardwood have been so pronounced - four consecutive losing seasons - that a dominating performance hits you like a thunderbolt.

And heading into the Bears' 106-72 win last night over Florida A&M - the preseason favorite to win the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference - the players were literally wearing their struggles on their shirts.

Coach Butch Beard is making the team wear its old uniforms until he deemed its play worthy of the new threads the players had worn until late last month.

The team's hero last night, Sam Brand (Poly), was shooting 30 percent for the season, and while Morgan State (3-7, 2-1 MEAC) was coming off a win against Bethune-Cookman on Saturday night, the program hadn't enjoyed consecutive wins since the 1998-99 season.

Both of those facts seemed ancient history in front of a sparse crowd at Hill Field House that saw Brand hit a school-record seven three-pointers and score 23 of his 27 points in the first half to spur the Bears past the Rattlers (1-10, 0-2).

"I was definitely feeling it," said Brand, whose three-pointer while fading away and being fouled gave Morgan State a 43-24 lead with 4:12 left in the first half. "I'm a shooter, and that's what I do. But I'd been struggling for so long, it felt good to have my teammates count on me."

Holding the lead for 33 minutes, and enjoying a comfortable lead for more than half the game while wearing blue shorts and white jerseys, it was enough to make one wonder if Morgan State might burn the regular uniforms for this season.

Florida A&M guard Terrence Woods, who entered averaging 21.6 points, had a minimal impact with 13 points.

With Woods neutralized, the Rattlers finished the game shooting 37.3 percent, which was a greater point of pride for Morgan State than the Bears' 60 percent shooting.

"This was probably the best basketball I've seen since I've been here," said Beard, the third-year coach who also got 15 points from Aaron Andrews and eight assists from Cedrick Barrow. "We played really well defensively, which made our offense look real good. Can we build on this? I'm hoping."

FLORIDA A&M-Ayodele 2-4 3-4 7, Harper 3-6 0-2 6, White 1-5 1-4 3, Wilkins 4-11 4-4 14, Woods 3-12 4-4 13, Tate 5-11 2-4 13, Henderson 0-1 1-2 1, Kelly 0-0 2-4 2, Zamore 2-2 1-3 5, Sams 0-2 1-2 1, Russell 2-5 3-4 7. Totals 22-59 22-37 72. MORGAN STATE-Timus 4-7 0-0 9, Andrews 6-11 3-5 15, Grant 2-5 3-5 8, Brand 8-11 4-5 27, Barrow 2-4 6-7 10, Evans 1-2 0-0 2, Lawler 3-4 0-0 6, McLean 1-2 0-0 2, Winkfield 2-4 2-2 6, Aujla 3-3 1-2 8, Terrell 0-0 2-2 2, Berkley 2-3 0-1 4, Phillips 2-3 1-2 6, McIver 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 36-60 23-33 106. Halftime-Morgan State 53, Florida A&M 33. 3-point goals-Florida A&M 6-26 (Ayodele 0-2, Harper 0-1, White 0-1, Wilkins 2-6, Woods 3-9, Tate 1-3, Henderson 0-1, Sams 0-2, Russell 0-1), Morgan State 11-17 (Timus 1-1, Grant 1-1, Brand 7-10, Barrow 0-1, Lawler 0-1, Aujla 1-1, Phillips 1-1, McIver 0-1). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Florida A&M 30 (White, Zamore 5), Morgan State 34 (Brand 9). Assists-Florida A&M 12 (White 5), Morgan State 25 (Barrow 8). Total fouls-Florida A&M 28, Morgan State 27. Technical fouls-Timus, Florida A&M bench. A-235.

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