Bears keep Retrievers restrained, roll at home

November 18, 2008|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,Special to The Baltimore Sun

Morgan State's game plan against UMBC last night wasn't very complicated - the Bears simply wanted to make sure the Retrievers didn't get on a roll.

That plan worked to perfection as Morgan State held UMBC to 20 field goals and 37 percent shooting. The Bears dictated the pace, stayed in command and never trailed en route to a 67-60 victory last night before 1,461 in their home opener at Hill Field House.

Morgan State coach Todd Bozeman said the Bears wanted to keep a watchful eye on UMBC point guard Jay Greene, ranked fourth in the nation last year in assists per game. Greene finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, becoming the school's leader in assists in the process, but the Retrievers never got going on offense.

"He's a quick guard, and if he gets a running start, he's really tough to handle," Bozeman said. "That's why we picked him up as much as we could [in the backcourt]. We really wanted to try hard not to let them get into a flow, not to let him get going."

The Bears held a 34-31 halftime lead and limited UMBC (1-1) to three baskets over a stretch of 16:23 into the second half. Five baskets by the Retrievers in the final 1:06 made the final score closer, but Morgan State (1-1) controlled the game and extended its home winning streak to 15.

"If they get into a rhythm, they're hard to stop because they've got good shooters," said Morgan State point guard Jermaine Bolden. "We wanted to take them out of their rhythm."

Bolden kept the Bears in a rhythm with his patient play. He helped Morgan State run the clock on most possessions in his 31 minutes, finishing with eight points and five assists. Reggie Holmes led the Bears with 13 points; Kevin Thompson scored 12.

Morgan State also gave UMBC trouble with its inside game. Thompson, a 6-foot-8, 240-pound redshirt freshman, scored 10 in the second half and was a presence around the basket.

The Bears scored 40 points in the paint - compared with 20 for the Retrievers - and got 17 second-chance points. Morgan State also held a 42-35 rebounding edge, and its depth wore down UMBC, which used only six players for most of the game.

Darryl Proctor worked hard inside for the Retrievers and finished with 19 points and eight rebounds, but the Retrievers had problems stopping the Bears in close. UMBC also just 14-for-25 from the foul line. Morgan State used a pair of six-point runs and a seven-point run to pull away each time the Retrievers made a move in the second half.

"They outplayed us," UMBC coach Randy Monroe said. "They outworked us, and they outcoached us."

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