UMES falls in 1st round

Norfolk State 73 UMES 71

Meac Men

March 08, 2006|By KENT BAKER | KENT BAKER,SUN REPORTER

Raleigh, N.C. -- In a game that ended under a cloud of controversy, Norfolk State hung on to oust UMES from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament yesterday, 73-71, at the RBC Center.

Seventh-seeded Norfolk had a two-point lead and possession under its own basket with 0.4 of a second remaining. Instead of throwing the ball the length of the court, the Spartans tried to lob it to center Calvin Brown just beyond the foul line.

But the ball was overthrown, and Hawks guard Jesse Brooks (Archbishop Spalding) raced to get it and tossed up a desperation three-pointer. Brown made contact with Brooks, and one official appeared to signal a foul.

Seconds later, all three officials were departing the court with UMES coach Larry Lessett in hot pursuit. It was all in vain; they had ruled the game over.

Lessett would not discuss his interpretation of the ending, which culminated in the 10th-seeded Hawks' 10th straight defeat to Norfolk State (12-17). He called it "the million-dollar question" as to how it should have finished.

The Spartans missed eight consecutive free throws down the stretch, allowing UMES (7-22) to stay in contention. The Hawks did complete the job at the foul line, hitting seven of their final 10 in the last 2 1/2 minutes.

"I thought it was over," said Norfolk coach Dwight Freeman. "Calvin ran into him [Brooks] after the fact. 0.4 [of a second] is not a lot of time. We were supposed to throw the ball all the way down to the other end but didn't."

After allowing the Spartans to thrive in transition for the first half, UMES built a 47-46 lead with four consecutive three-pointers by freshman Troy Jackson (game-high 25 points, six rebounds). But the advantage rapidly disappeared and Norfolk State stayed in control the rest of the way.

Freeman said he assigned his best defender, Rashid Cann, to Jackson after the flurry and that did the job.

"Going out like that is crazy," said senior Tim Parham, an All-MEAC second-team pick who finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds for his 15th double double of the season. "This is real hard."

Norfolk State will play second-seeded Coppin State in the quarterfinals tonight. kent.baker@baltsun.com

UMES-Waddell 0-0 0-0 0, Tyson 4-8 1-2 9, Brooks 5-17 3-6 16, Jackson 10-18 0-0 25, Parham 8-13 2-6 18, Valentine 0-0 0-0 0, Harris 0-2 0-0 0, McMillion 1-6 1-2 3, Moore 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-64 7-16 71. NORFOLK STATE-Thomas 2-7 2-4 6, Young 5-7 0-0 14, Murphy 3-9 2-4 8, Gary 2-4 0-2 4, Ogunride 5-10 8-12 18, Cann 1-3 1-3 3, Lyons 0-2 1-2 1, Brown 6-13 5-5 17, Vickers 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 25-59 19-32 73. Halftime-Norfolk State 40-33. 3-point goals-UMES 8-19 (Jackson 5-6, Brooks 3-8, McMillion 0-1, Harris 0-1, Tyson 0-3), Norfolk State 4-11 (Young 4-5, Murphy 0-1, Cann 0-1, Lyons 0-1, Thomas 0-3). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-UMES 37 (Parham 13), Norfolk State 45 (Ogunride 16). Assists-UMES 13 (Brooks 4), Norfolk State 11 (Thomas 6). Total fouls-UMES 23, Norfolk State 17. A-n/a.

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