After sailing to 23-point lead, Morgan collapses in 63-62 loss

Howard pulls out victory as Bears' shooters go cold

College Basketball

February 15, 2004|By Mike Keegan | Mike Keegan,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Things couldn't have been going much better for Morgan State.

The Bears got out to a 13-0 lead over Howard at Talmadge Hill Field House last night, then built a 23-point cushion early in the second half.

But slowly, things took a turn for the worse. The Bears' shooters went cold and Howard heated up. The Bison outscored Morgan State 32-11 over the last 11 minutes of the game to steal a 63-62 win in front of 2,832 stunned fans.

"It's Valentine's Day and when we were down 23, our players could've rushed home to be with their girlfriends," Howard coach Frankie Allen said. "Once we got it down inside double digits, it wasn't as easy for [Morgan State] to pull the trigger, and our kids were able to hold on and hit some shots."

Morgan scored only one point over a seven-minute stretch in the second half, and the Bison (6-15, 4-8 MEAC) hit four of seven three-point attempts in the second half, led by Derek Mitchell's game-high 17 points.

With 1:32 to play, Mitchell hit a long three-pointer for a 57-57 tie, the first tie since 0-0. Morgan State's Joe McLean made a free throw to regain the lead at 58-57 with 1:19 to play, but Bisons guard Franklin Jackson drove to the basket, scored and was fouled. His free throw gave Howard a 60-58 lead with 1:05 remaining.

Moments later, Morgan's Cedrick Barrow found Sam Brand open in the corner, and Brand hit a three for a 61-60 lead with 38 seconds left. Howard tried to set up forward James Wilkinson in the low post, but the Morgan double team forced the ball back up top to freshman guard Darryl Hudson. Hudson hit a three-pointer with a hand in his face for a 63-61 lead with 19 seconds to play.

Barrow quickly drove and was fouled, but he missed the first free throw and left his team behind 63-62 with eight seconds left. Wilkinson missed two free throws, giving the Bears one more shot, but Barrow's running shot rimmed out, and Aaron Andrews' rebound attempt missed, ending a painful game for the Bears.

Morgan lost its second straight game and fell to 8-12 and 7-6 in the Mid-Eastern Athletics Conference.

HOWARD -- Aluko 3-5 5-9 11, Wilkinson 4-9 0-3 8, Hudson 4-12 0-0 10, Ford 0-5 2-2 2, Mitchell 6-10 1-2 17, Gant 0-1 0-0 0, Jackson 1-3 1-1 3, Trotter 0-1 0-0 0, Russell 5-12 1-2 11, Wright 0-1 0-0 0, Miller 0-0 1-4 1. Totals 23-59 11-23 63. MORGAN STATE -- Brand 4-11 4-4 15, Andrews 4-9 6-12 14, Barrow 1-3 4-8 6, Timus 0-1 1-3 1, Grant 2-6 1-5 5, Winkfield 3-7 0-0 8, McLean 2-4 4-10 9, Evans 1-4 0-0 2, Berkley 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 18 47 20 42 62. Half -- Morgan State, 33-17. 3-point goals -- Howard 6-21 (Hudson 2-8, Ford 0-3, Mitchell 4-6, Gant 0-1, Jackson 0-1, Russell 0-2), Morgan St. 6-14 (Brand 3-7, Winkfield 2-4, McLean 1-2, Evans 0-1). Fouled out -- Ford, Jackson, Andrews, Berkley. Rebounds -- Howard 38 (Hudson 8), Morgan St. 35 (Andrews 11). Assists -- Howard 8 (Ford 4), Morgan St. 13 (Timus, Grant 3). A -- 2,832.

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