Victory still sweet for Morgan

After upset of Terps, Bears not bothered by likely sparse crowd for next game

January 09, 2009|By Mike Klingaman | Mike Klingaman,mike.klingaman@baltsun.com

The phone rang at 7 a.m., startling the sleeping Bear.

"H'lo?" said Reggie Holmes, the Morgan State basketball standout. The caller, his mother, could barely speak. Holmes woke up quickly.

"Mom, are you crying?" he asked. No, she said, just hoarse from shouting during Morgan's 66-65 upset of Maryland on Wednesday night.

"I wanted to tell you how proud everyone here is of you," Tijauna Harvey said from her workplace at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Holmes thanked her, hung up and smiled. So it wasn't a dream, he thought.

Just a nightmare for Maryland.

Holmes, a 6-foot-4 junior, had 25 points, including the game-winner, as Morgan (6-8) scored its biggest Division I victory ever. The Terps, meanwhile, start Atlantic Coast Conference play tomorrow on suddenly shaky ground. Maryland (11-3) hosts Georgia Tech (9-5) at noon.

Morgan returns home against North Carolina A&T (6-8) at 4 p.m. tomorrow, certainly to a sparse crowd. The game conflicts with the Ravens' playoff game, and Morgan students are on semester break.

Tomorrow's game "might be our emptiest one of the year," said Holmes, a St. Frances graduate. Not that empty seats would bother the Bears after their win in College Park.

"Coach [Todd Bozeman] says he will play us anywhere as long as there are two baskets and a ball," Holmes said.

Yesterday, Morgan's victory resonated with the handful of people still on campus - the volleyball team and a smattering of laborers. As players walked to practice, "a few of the workmen greeted us," guard Jermaine "Itchy" Bolden said.

"Did we celebrate? No. And we left the game ball back at Maryland. But we've got a lot of [game] tapes that we're going to watch, over and over and over."

Those tapes will show that Morgan's starting lineup at Comcast Center consisted entirely of Maryland-born players. To make that happen, Marquise Kately, a senior forward from California, surrendered his starting role for the night.

"He [Kately] came to me before the game and said, 'Boze, let those guys do it,' " said Bozeman, Morgan's third-year coach.

Kately, the Bears' second-leading scorer, had 10 points off the bench in a game he hopes will boost Morgan's credibility.

"People sleep on us. They think we're inferior because of our record and our league," the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, Kately said. "Maybe now they'll start to notice."

Bozeman spent part of yesterday answering the 200-plus congratulatory text messages he has received since Wednesday night.

"This was a significant win for our program," the coach said. "And it won't hurt with recruiting."

Moreover, he said, the players believe in themselves.

At the start of practice, Bozeman read from the book Talent is not Enough, by John Maxwell. On Page 18 is a quote from billionaire Charles Schwab, which the coach shared with his players:

"When a man has put a limit on what he will do, he has put a limit on what he can do."

"I think they got it," Bozeman said.

state losses

Maryland's most recent losses to state schools:

Year Team Score

1969 Navy 72-68

1993 Coppin State 70-63

2009 Morgan State 66-65

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