Morgan holds off Howard, 75-71

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Morgan State held on for dear life last night and broke a four-game losing streak with a 75-71 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference victory over Howard at Hill Field House.

After surging to a 19-point lead with 11 minutes left and still ahead by 16 with less than four to go, the Bears got careless and nearly squandered it.

Howard (6-4, 7-13) scored 10 straight points to get back into contention with Anthony Brown hitting a three-pointer to climax the streak.

A jump shot by Jerard Rucker (Gibbons) halted the streak for Morgan, but then Rucker unwisely fouled Sean Turley while Turley was scoring a layup with 24 seconds to play.

Turley converted the free throw to make it 73-69. Terrence Wright sank one of two from the line to give Morgan a five-point lead again, but a basket inside by Howard reserve John Gay cut the lead to three.

A 15-minute delay ensued after Morgan's 330-pound center, Jarrad Smith, became sick at the Howard free-throw line. Smith left the court under his own power while the area was cleaned.

With nine seconds to go, Gay fouled Damian Zellous, who hit one of two free throws to produce the final score.

Howard turned the ball over trying to rush it upcourt and that was the end.

Morgan (4-6, 4-16) took control of the game early with an 11-0 run that extended to 20-4. Wright led the way with eight of his 10 first-half points as the Bears shot ahead, 25-9.

The Bison countered to get within four twice, but Morgan unleashed nine straight points to move in front, 39-26, just before halftime.

A three-point play on a drive by Turley got Howard back to 39-29 at the break.

But the Bears dominated early in the second half while Howard went nearly seven minutes without a field goal. By the end of that run, Morgan was in front, 53-34.

Howard didn't really fire back until the final three minutes when baskets by Phil Chenier and Turley and three free throws put the Bison in contention.

HOWARD -- Turley 6-15 9-11 23, Chenier 7-10 4-6 18, Crowder 3-11 7-11 13, T. Brown 1-10 1-2 4, Beard 2-8 0-0 4, Ross 0-1 0-0 0, Dedmon 1-3 2-2 4, Gay 1-5 0-0 2, A. Brown 1-4 0-0 3. Totals 22-67 23-32 71.

MORGAN STATE -- James 2-4 0-0 4, Deas 2-7 2-2 6, Battle 5-11 0-0 11, Wright 9-11 5-7 23, Rucker 4-7 0-0 9, Zellous 0-1 1-2 1, Grant 3-5 6-7 12, Bailey 0-0 2-2 2, Holmes 0-3 0-0 0, Smith 2-4 3-4 7. Totals 27-53 19-24 75.

Halftime--Morgan State, 39-29. 3-point goals--H 4-21 (Turley 2-6, A. Brown 1-2, T. Brown 1-7, Chenier 0-1, Dedmon 0-1, Gay 0-1); MS 2-12 (Rucker 1-2, Battle 1-5, James 0-1, Zellous 0-1, James 0-1, Deas 0-2). Rebounds--H 42 (Chenier 9); MS 34 (James 6). Assists--H 7 (T. Brown 3); MS 11 (Rucker 3, Zellous 3). Total fouls--H 19; MS 23. Fouled out--none. Technicals--none. A--2,439.

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