Morgan State derails Delaware State, 75-74

Brand free throws drive Hornets from 2nd place as home surge continues

February 15, 2005|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Morgan State survived a major test last night ... barely.

In a position game for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament, the Bears knocked Delaware State out of second place, 75-74, despite some scary moments down the stretch, winning for the ninth time in 10 games at Hill Field House this season.

Two free throws by Sam Brand (Poly) with 10.1 seconds remaining proved the decisive points for Morgan (11-13, 9-5), which then had to fend off a final Hornets' thrust abetted by a questionable foul call.

Joe McLean was whistled for a personal on the next possession, sending Delaware State's Aaron Williams (game-high 24 points) to the line for three shots, all of which he converted to bring the team's deficit to one point.

The Bears inbounded with 3.9 seconds left, lost the ball in a scramble and saw Delaware State's Jahsha Bluntt fire a three-pointer that caromed off the rim. Brand chased down the rebound to finally secure the Bears' fourth straight victory.

"We did what we had to do, came up big when it was necessary," said Morgan coach Butch Beard, whose Bears are tied for fourth place. "The intangibles ended up being good. This is the way it's been the last couple weeks."

Two three-pointers by Brand (15 points) were clearly tangible. The first - with the 35-second clock expiring - helped fight off a Hornets' rally, extending Morgan's lead to 63-55.

"One thing I have pride in is my three-point shooting," said Brand. "The clock was running down, so I knew I was going to shoot it, I've been struggling with my shot, but I stayed after practice yesterday and I was sure that one was going in."

The athletic Hornets (11-13, 9-4) kept fighting back and Brand's second big three came after a Bears' turnover that could have meant a Delaware State lead. Ron Timus (14 points) recovered the ball and got it to Brand, who knocked in a three that made it 71-66.

"This was a big win," said Brand. "Last year it took us the whole season to win nine [MEAC] games. Now we're going into the final four with nine and a good chance to stay out of the play-in round [in the tourney]. I want to be one of the people known for taking Morgan to a level to be proud of."

Delaware State is now 3-11 on the road after being swept in its Baltimore swing by Coppin State and the Bears. "We're still right in the mix and that's where we want to be," said Beard.

DELAWARE STATE-Hunter 5-12 0-0 10, Roundtree 6-8 2-4 14, Shine 1-6 0-0 3, Williams 6-8 11-13 24, Bluntt 4-7 1-2 11, Davis 0-1 1-2 1, Broadus 0-0 2-2 2, Worley 3-6 2-2 9. Totals 25-49 19-25 74. MORGAN STATE-Grant 3-11 7-8 13, Berkley 1-2 0-0 2, Andrews 4-6 0-2 8, Mathis 2-5 0-0 4, Brand 4-7 4-4 15, Timus 5-9 4-4 14, McLean 1-4 2-4 5, Evans 1-2 0-0 2, Lawler 3-4 0-1 7, Aujla 1-1 0-0 3, Phillips 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 26-54 17-23 75. Halftime-Morgan State, 31-27. 3-point goals-Delaware State 5-16 (Hunter 0-2, Shine 1-3, Williams 1-2, Bluntt 2-5, Davis 0-1, Worley 1-3); Morgan State 6-10 (Grant 0-1, Brand 3-5, McLean 1-2, Lawler 1-1, Warfield 1-1). Fouled out-Andrews. Rebounds-Delaware State 26 (Roundtree, Williams 5); Morgan State 33 (Grant, Timus 6). Assists-Delaware State 13 (Shine 7); Morgan State 13 (Lawler 4). Total fouls-Delaware State 16; Morgan State 22. A-3,362.

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