Morgan women run out of gas, fall to Del. State

Energy poured into Friday's upset of Coppin leaves Bears' tank empty

Delaware State 55 Morgan State 42

March 11, 2007|By Kristian Pope | Kristian Pope,Special to The Sun

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Morgan State had one game to play, but not the legs to play it effectively.

Bidding for its first berth in the NCAA women's tournament, fourth-seeded Morgan had that mission denied yesterday in a 55-42 loss to second-seed Delaware State in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship game at the RBC Center.

Playing in their fifth game in 10 days and one day removed from the program's biggest upset, the Bears lost, and it was simple to understand.

"We did all we could. We ran out of juice," Morgan coach Donald Beasley said. "We had to play [top seed] Coppin State less than 24 hours ago."

Whitney Johnson, who didn't want to overemphasize the fatigue factor, led the Bears (18-13) with 11 points on 5-for-12 shooting, and Corin Adams added nine.

One of the team's biggest weapons in its dramatic, 69-67 win over the Eagles in Friday's semifinals, the three-point shot, didn't work against the Hornets. Morgan was 1-for-11 on three-pointers.

"[Fatigue] played a part, but if you want it, you want it," Johnson said. "They wanted it more. They rebounded and got loose balls."

The weariness became noticeable in the second half as tired arms began forcing shots.

Delaware State junior forward Katreem Palmer led all scorers with 17 points and added 11 rebounds to help deliver the Hornets (20-12) their first league tournament title and NCAA berth.

Raquel Collier, who scored 15 for the Hornets, was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Delaware State's Ed Davis was named Most Outstanding Coach.

Morgan cut the Delaware State lead to 39-34 on a layup by Sarissa Gaskins with 10:31 left, but the faster and more experienced Hornets were too much down the stretch.

"People didn't think we'd get this far," Beasley said.

The Bears were the surprise team of the MEAC season, coming from a 10th-place regular-season finish a year ago to their first appearance in the league tournament title game in 22 years.

MORGAN STATE -Adams 2-15 5-8 9, W. Johnson 5-12 1-2 11, Banks 0-0 0-0 0, Phillips 1-5 0-0 2, Price 2-8 2-4 7, Gaskins 2-3 2-2 6, Reed 1-4 0-0 2, Williams 0-2 2-2 2, P. Jones 1-1 0-0 2, L. Jones 0-2 1-2 1, Griffin 0-4 0-0 0, Grady 0-0 0-0 0, M. Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Britton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-57 13-18 42. DELAWARE STATE-Littlepage 0-1 0-0 0, Collier 6-15 3-4 15, Smith 2-4 0-0 4, Galloway 3-10 0-2 6, Palmer 8-16 1-1 17, Berbage 3-9 2-3 11, Morgan 0-1 0-0 0, Orji 0-0 0-0 0, Thompson 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 23-60 6-10 55. Half-Delaware State, 27-18. 3-point goals-Morgan State 1-11 (Price 1-2, Adams 0-4, W. Johnson 0-2, Phillips 0-2, M. Johnson 0-1); Delaware State 3-14 (Burbage 3-5, Collier 0-2, Galloway 0-2, Palmer 0-4, Morgan 0-1). Rebounds-Morgan State 41 (Price 9); Delaware State 44 (Littlepage 13). Assists-Morgan State 4 (Gaskins 2); Delaware State 14 (Burbage 6). Total fouls-Morgan State 14, Delaware State 14. Fouled out-None. A-n/a.

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