78-62 win over Morgan gives UMES a timely boost in spirit

Lady Bears last in MEAC heading into tournament

March 02, 2004|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

Two losses by a combined 38 points dampened the good feeling that UMES had heading into next week's Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference women's basketball tournament in Richmond, Va.

But given one more chance to end their regular season on an upbeat note, the Lady Hawks capitalized last night, easily slamming host Morgan State, 78-62.

Junior guards Octavia Thompson and Erica Bennett led UMES (11-16, 6-12 MEAC) with 15 and 10 points in the first half, as the Lady Hawks jumped out to a 19-6 lead and controlled the game from there.

The victory also helped ease the sting from losses to Hampton, 82-62, and Coppin State, 78-60.

Down 43-25 at the half, the Lady Bears (3-23, 3-14) fell behind 52-29 with 16:11 left on a jumper by Bennett. Needing a win to avoid last place in the league, Morgan State showed some life when Whitney Johnson and Sharonda Watson led a 14-0 run.

Watson, who tied UMES reserve Laconia Hatcher with a game-high 18 points, brought Morgan to 52-43 on a jumper at the 11:20 mark.

But UMES responded by outscoring Morgan 13-5 over the next four minutes and went up 65-48 with 7:03 left on a layup by Hatcher.

Bennett finished with 17, Thompson 16 and LaToshia Bailey 15. Johnson finished with 16 for Morgan, and Javonne Davis had 14.

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