For Morgan's Grant, buzzer-beating victory bounces his way, 64-63

35-foot heave connects to end hex by Hampton

College Basketball

February 03, 2004|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

When Hampton took a two-point lead with 3.5 seconds left, Morgan State swingman Chris Grant got the inbounds pass and took off.

He dribbled two steps past half court and launched a running one-handed shot from about 35 feet that bounced off the rim and went into the air. The ball then hit the back of the rim before bouncing nearly up to the top of the backboard.

Time had expired when the ball came down and hit the rim for a third time before falling through. The referees paused momentarily before signaling Grant's three-point shot good, setting off a wild celebration from the crowd of 3,872 at Hill Field House and giving Morgan State a crazy 64-63 victory over Hampton.

"It hit everywhere," Morgan State coach Butch Beard said with a laugh. "It may be a defining bounce for this team."

Grant scored a game-high 24 points to give Morgan State (7-10, 6-4) a key Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference win over Hampton (8-13, 6-4) - the school's first victory over the Pirates since the 1998-99 MEAC tournament. Hampton had won eight straight over the Bears.

"I just wanted to get it as close as possible," Grant said. "I just looked up and just prayed that it went in. I think that's the craziest shot I've ever made."

Morgan State broke a two-game losing streak and stayed unbeaten at home this season (6-0), despite wasting an 11-point lead with just under 14 minutes left. The Bears were much smaller than the Pirates, but used their speed and quickness to stay close.

Bruce Brown (14 points) was the only Pirate who finished in double figures as Hampton's lack of patience hurt on offense throughout. Still, Hampton rallied and used a 12-0 run to take a 61-57 lead with 5:24 left.

Hampton used a big lineup all night, with the 6-foot-11 Brown anchoring things in the middle.

The Bears scored the next four points, tying it on Ronald Timus' follow with 1:47 left. But the Pirates took the lead on David Johnson's jumper from the top of the key with 3.5 seconds left. That's when Grant took over.

"We made the play to go up two, and they made the bigger play to win it," Hampton coach Bobby Collins said. "I told our guys it just wasn't meant to be for us tonight."

HAMPTON-Johnson 2-3 1-3 5, Brown 7-8 0-1 14, Didlake 3-7 1-2 9, Granger 2-9 2-3 7, Green 4-9 0-0 8, Woodley 1-3 2-2 5, Spencer 2-4 0-0 4, Bean 0-0 0-0 0, Pehou 3-4 0-0 9, Russell 0-1 0-0 0, Hughes 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 25-50 6-11 63. MORGAN STATE-Brand 2-5 0-0 5, Andrews 3-8 0-0 6, Barrow 2-11 3-4 8, Timus 3-9 0-0 6, Grant 5-9 10-13 24, Winkfield 3-8 0-0 7, McLean 1-2 1-1 3, Terrell 0-0 0-0 0, Augla 0-0 0-0 0, Berkley 2-4 1-1 5. Totals 21-56 15-21 64. Halftime-34-34. 3-point goals-Hampton 7-20 (Didlake 2-3, Granger 1-6, Green 0-3, Woodley 1-3, Spencer 0-1, Pehou 3-3, Hughes 0-1), Morgan St. 7-19 (Brand 1-4, Barrow 1-6, Grant 4-5, Winkfield 1-4). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Hampton 29 (Green 8), Morgan St. 34 (Timus 9). Assists-Hampton 17 (Didlake 5), Morgan St. 11 (Barrow, Grant 3). Total fouls-Hampton 20, Morgan St. 16. A-3,872.

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