Morgan wins despite 33 turnovers, 76-72

Bears nearly squander 16-point lead vs. N.C. A&T

January 20, 2004|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Morgan State's men's team gave winless North Carolina A&T an unusual basketball lesson last night - how to commit 33 turnovers and still win.

With starting point guard Cedrick Barrow sidelined with a groin injury, the Bears experienced all kinds of problems. North Carolina A&T's defense threw Morgan State out of its rhythm throughout the game, but the Bears hung on for a 76-72 victory in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference matchup at Hill Field House.

Morgan State (6-8, 5-2), tied for second place with Coppin State and a half game out of first in the MEAC, had problems from the start against a team that has lost 17 straight.

The Aggies (0-15, 0-6) used a variety of presses and traps that the Bears had trouble handling. Morgan State made 20 turnovers in the first half, often leaving coach Butch Beard standing in front of the bench shaking his head in frustration.

"I thought we committed 40 [turnovers]," Beard said. "I'm happy we won the game, but I'm upset with my team for the way we got it done."

Chris Grant scored a team-high 14 points for Morgan State. He made five of seven from the field and came up with some big plays in the second half.

"We were kind of shaky tonight," Grant said. "Cedrick is our leader, and everyone was trying to step in."

Ronald Timus and Sam Brand each added 12 points for Morgan State, which hurt the Aggies with five three-point shots. North Carolina A&T, which has four walk-ons, had trouble against the Bears' tough defense and made 31 turnovers.

Sean Booker came off the bench to score a game-high 18 points, but the Aggies rarely could generate any consistent offense until the final minutes.

That's when Morgan State finally appeared to be in charge with a 69-53 lead and 3:11 left. Beard had emptied the bench a few seconds before that, and North Carolina A&T quickly cut the lead. Beard put the starters back, but the Aggies made it 75-72 with 3.5 seconds left.

But Reggie Winkfield hit one of two free throws with 2.5 seconds remaining to seal the win.

NORTH CAROLINA A&T-Davis 3-7 1-2 7, Roberts 4-8 0-1 8, Faulcon 3-7 2-2 8, Hayes 3-6 0-2 8, Green 1-3 2-2 4, Koger 2-8 0-0 4, Carter 0-1 5-7 5, Booth 2-2 0-0 6, Booker 7-14 0-0 18, Alvis 1-2 2-4 4, Traore 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 26-60 12-20 72. MORGAN STATE-Grant 5-7 4-6 14, Andrews 3-7 2-4 8, Timus 4-7 4-6 12, Brand 4-9 2-4 12, Winkfield 2-3 4-5 9, McLean 2-4 2-2 7, Evans 0-2 0-0 0, Lawler 0-1 4-6 4, Aujla 2-2 0-0 5, Berkley 1-3 1-2 3, Phillips 0-0 2-2 2, McIver 0-2 0-2 0. Totals 23-47 25-39 76. Half-Morgan State, 30-24. 3-point goals-NCAT 8-22 (Booth 2-2, Booker 4-8, Hayes 2-4, Alvis 0-1, Carter 0-1, Roberts 0-2, Koger 0-4); MS 5-8 (McLean 1-1, Aujla 1-1, Brand 2-3, Winkfield 1-2, Lawler 0-1). Fouled out-Faulcon, Booker. Rebounds-NCAT 27 (Davis 6); MS 30 (Berkley, Grant 5). Assists-NCAT 14 (Faulcon 5); MS 13 (Terrell, Brand 3). Total fouls-NCAT 28; MS 22. A-563.

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