Inside play, defense boost UMES, 51-50

Trotter, Wellington stifled, but role players step up in MEAC play-in game

March 10, 2004|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

RICHMOND, Va. - The lesser lights turned on for the UMES men yesterday at the Arthur Ashe Center.

With high-scoring guards Tee Trotter and Aaron Wellington held without a field goal in the second half, the Hawks' inside players took command of the scoring and rebounding to pace a 51-50 squeaker over Bethune-Cookman in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference's play-in game.

"If you had told me Aaron and Tee weren't going to get a basket in the second half and we would win, I wouldn't have believed it," said UMES coach Thomas Trotter. "All year we've been asking others to step up and make open shots. We were a team and I'm really proud of them."

Still, ninth-seeded UMES (8-20) required some stout defense in the waning seconds to preserve Trotter's first postseason win in four seasons at the Princess Anne school.

With the Hawks clinging to a four-point lead and going to a spread set to kill the clock, the Wildcats took advantage of two Wellington misses and a UMES turnover to close to 51-50 on three free throws by Markey Picard (game-high 18 points).

With 20 seconds to go, Trotter missed a free throw to give Bethune-Cookman another chance.

Kendrick Frink's shot rolled out of the basket, but, in the ensuing scramble, Bethune-Cookman regained possession with 4.2 seconds to go.

The inbounds pass was designed to go to center Pape Ba, but Javes Wiggins (Lake Clifton, CCBC-Essex) flicked it away. The Wildcats' Diondre Larmond got the carom in time to toss up an off-balance jumper with two defenders in his face, but it bounced off the backboard as the clock expired.

Wiggins finished with 14 points and a game-high nine rebounds and center Tim Parham - back after missing two games for personal reasons - and Didier Socka also played major roles for the Hawks, who had lost four straight, but entered the game with eight days of rest.

That [layoff] helped us," said Thomas Trotter. "Tee had been hurt and Aaron was tired. We did come in here with fresh legs."

Tee Trotter, the coach's son, had 12 first-half points to boost his career total to 1,887 points, second in UMES history.

"For its reward, UMES will tackle top-seeded South Carolina State this evening.

"We have to play somebody good. It could have been Coppin and they blew us out twice," said Thomas Trotter. "We beat South Carolina State [64-61 at home], although they didn't have Brian Mason [the MEAC Rookie of the Year]."

UMES-Trotter 4-12 2-4 12, Wiggins 7-8 0-2 14, Joiner 2-4 0-0 6, Wellington 1-8 2-2 5, Parham 3-5 3-4 9, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Socka 1-5 3-4 5. Totals 18-42 10-16 51.

BETHUNE-COOKMAN-Frink 2-10 2-2 7, Clayton 0-0 0-0 0, Carter 1-7 0-0 2, Ba 1-5 0-0 2, Picard 6-8 4-6 18, Taylor 2-6 0-0 5, Larmond 6-14 0-0 14, Williams 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 19-51 6-8 50.

Half-Bethune-Cookman, 26-24. 3-point goals-UMES 5-16 (Joiner 2-4, Trotter 2-5, Wellington 1-7), Bethune-Cookman 6-23 (Picard 2-4, Larmond 2-5, Taylor 1-5, Frink 1-8, Carter 0-1). Fouled out-None. Rebounds- UMES 35 (Wiggins 9), Bethune-Cookman 25 (Frink 4, Larmond 4, Picard 4). Assists- UMES 10 (Wellington 6), Bethune-Cookman 10 (Frink 4). Total fouls- UMES 12, Bethune-Cookman 16. A-N/A.

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