Behind early, Morgan tops Maine, 71-63

30-9 run to close first half propels Bears' comeback

College Basketball

December 12, 2004|By Matt Papuchis | Matt Papuchis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

With the game tied late, Morgan State freshman Timothy Mathis stole the ball from Chris Markwood, drove it down the lane and laid it in to give the Bears the lead with 1:11 left, and they were able to hold on for a 71-63 win over Maine last night before 2,372 at Hill Field House.

"I didn't want to let my team down," Mathis said. "I didn't want to force anything, but whatever opportunity came up, I wanted to step up. The kid just put the ball out there and I took it."

He was an unlikely hero for Morgan State, but that was the theme of the night.

When senior Sam Brand committed his second foul just six minutes into the game, it could have been a bad sign for Morgan State. With their leading scorer forced to sit and watch from the bench, the Bears (3-6) needed everyone else to step up and contribute to have any chance of beating the Black Bears (4-3). That's exactly what happened.

Junior guard Ron Timus led the effort with 19 points - 12 in the second half - and six rebounds, while sophomore Karanvir Aujla, who entered the game averaging less than four points a game, went 4-for-4 from three-point range, finishing with 12 points.

"It really was a team effort," Morgan coach Butch Beard said. "Tonight we had people step up and play to the best of their abilities."

Morgan State had built a 10-point lead at 59-49 with less than seven minutes to play when Maine began to chip away at the Bears' lead.

Behind the three-point shooting of Kevin Reed (14 points), who became Maine's all-time leading three-point shooter Dec. 4 against Harvard, and the solid play of David Dubois (14 points) and Ernest Turner (16 points), Maine went on a 12-2 run to tie it at 61.

But Mathis' steal shifted momentum back in Morgan's direction and the Bears closed the game on an 8-0 run.

When Beard made the decision to take Brand out, the Bears trailed by five, and after Maine tacked on five more in the next minute, Morgan found itself far behind early, trailing 18-5 just seven minutes into the game. It looked as though Maine was going to be able to run away with it, but Morgan had other plans.

In the first half, seven different Bears scored, which included Aujla going 3-for-3 from behind the arc and Timus' seven points.

Morgan finished the half on a 30-9 run to lead 35-27 at halftime.

MAINE - Dubois 6-10 2-2 14, Campbell 1-1 0-0 2, Turner 7-16 2-3 16, Reed 4-13 3-4 14, Markwood 3-5 2-4 10, Bruff 0-0 1-2 1, Flavin 0-0 0-0 0, Jackson 2-5 0-0 4, Ahvenniemi 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 24-53 10-15 63. MORGAN ST. - Grant 1-9 4-4 6, Evans 1-3 0-0 2, Andrews 4-7 0-0 8, Mathis 3-6 2-2 8, Brand 3-10 0-0 7, Timus 7-12 5-7 19, McLean 2-4 3-3 7, Terrell 0-2 0-0 0, Lawler 0-1 0-0 0, Aujla 4-4 0-0 12, Warfield 0-1 0-0 0, Berkley 1-2 0-0 2, McIver 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-61 14-16 71. Halftime-Morgan, 35-27. 3-Point goals-Maine 5-21(Turner 0-5, Reed 3-10, Markwood 2-4, Jackson 0-2.), Morgan St. 5-12 (Grant 0-1, Mathis 0-1, Brand 1-3, McLean 0-1, Terrell 0-2, Aujla 4-4.). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Maine 36(Reed 9), Morgan St. 34(Andrews, Brand, Timus 6). Assists-Maine 14 (Turner,Reed 4), Morgan St. 14 (Terrell, Grant 3). Total fouls-Maine 17, Morgan St. 15. A-2,372.

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