Morgan prevails, thanks to Barrow

Bears slip past Howard, advance in MEAC, 60-59

College Basketball

March 09, 2004|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

RICHMOND, Va. -- Ineffective free-throw shooting has been problematic for Morgan State's men's basketball team all season, but last night the foul line was its ally.

Two foul shots by point guard Cedric Barrow with 6.8 seconds left clinched a 60-59 victory over Howard that propelled the Bears into the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference quarterfinals.

The game was tight, with six points the biggest lead, 12 ties and nine lead changes.

Morgan State coach Butch Beard was so confident that Barrow would make the second free throw after the first went down that he called time to set up the defense for the final Howard possession.

"There was no question in my mind he was going to hit it. So, I called time so they would not get a good shot," Beard said.

Diminutive Bison point guard Louis Ford was smothered by defenders before getting the ball to Derek Mitchell, who flung up a desperation shot that bounced off the rim just before the buzzer.

Barrow, the team's most reliable foul shooter at 78 percent, received some redemption after failing to tie the game at the end of the teams' previous meeting, when the Bison rallied from a 23-point second-half deficit to win at Morgan, 63-62. The Bears went 20-for-42 from the line in that game.

"I was in the same situation the last time we played them. I missed the front end, " said Barrow, who was 8-for-8 from the line last night.

Howard (6-22) lost its seventh straight since its big comeback at Morgan and ended a frustrating season.

After gaining a five-point lead with 4:45 remaining, the Bison made only one more basket, a 26-foot three-pointer by Bilal Russell. James Wilkinson, who had 15 first-half points and one in the second, was called twice for traveling and Ford missed a shot just before fouling Barrow to set up the winning points.

Howard has lost 12 games by seven points or fewer.

"This game just kind of mirrored our season," said Howard coach Frankie Allen. "A play here, a rebound there, a call. We played well enough to win and just came up short again."

Reggie Winkfield (four three-pointers) carried the Bears' offense through much of the game. Morgan (11-15) hit only 33 percent of its field-goal tries, but persevered with its foul shooting.

HOWARD--Wilkinson 7-14 2-3 16, Mitchell 2-9 0-0 6, Ford 3-9 6-6 13, Wright 1-2 1-2 3, Aluko 2-7 1-2 5, Gant 2-2 2-4 7, Hudson 0-1 0-0 0, Russell 4-10 0-1 9, Miller 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-54 12-18 59. MORGAN ST.--Barrow 0-4 8-8 8, Timus 1-5 0-2 2, Grant 1-9, 6-11 9, Brand 3-8 0-0 9, Andrews 3-6 2-4 8, Winkfield 5-10 1-2 15, McLean 1-2 0-1 2, Evans 0-0 0-0 0, Lawler 0-2 0-0 0, Berkley 3-5 1-2 7. Totals 17-51 18-30 60. Half: Howard 36-32. 3-point goals--Howard 5-14 (Mitchell 2-7, Gant 1-1, Russell 1-1, Ford 1-2, Wilkinson 0-3), Morgan St. 8-20 (Winkfield 4-8, Brand 3-7, Grant 1-2, Lawler 0-1, Barrow 0-2). Fouled out--Aluko, Lawler. Rebounds--Howard 35 (Wright 7), Morgan St. 39 (Andrews 10). Assists--Howard 10 (Ford 7), Morgan St. 10 (Grant 4). Total fouls--Howard 25, Morgan St. 22. A--na.

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