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Del. State catches Bears hibernating, 75-66 Demory's 3-pointers not enough for Morgan


The Morgan State Bears may have been caught looking ahead to a televised rematch with crosstown rival Coppin State on Saturday when they dropped a 75-66 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference contest to Delaware State at Hill Field House last night.

The Bears (4-14, 3-4), who suffered a heartbreaking, last-second loss at Coppin on Saturday, 78-77, sleepwalked through the first half against the Hornets to fall behind 36-25, and played a futile game of catch-up the rest of the way.

"If you look up the word 'flat' in the dictionary, you'll see a picture of my team," said Morgan coach Chris Fuller.

"We spent so much emotion against Coppin last week, we had nothing left tonight. The coach who can figure how to get his team prepared after a game like that will be crowned a genius."

Morgan still had a chance to save face in the second half when the long-range shooting of freshman guard Jason Demory brought the Bears back.

With his team trailing 40-27, Demory made four three-pointers in a 90-second span to cut the deficit to 44-41 with 14:14 remaining.

The crowd of 1,196 really became involved when a follow by junior forward Ira Crawley brought Morgan to within 44-43. But the Bears would never overtake the Hornets (5-12, 4-4), who used the all-around skills of sophomore forward Brian Parker (29 points, eight rebounds) and the ball-handling of Javan Steadman and Antoine Morris to hold off repeated rallies.

"After we made a big run, we just didn't defend," said Fuller. "And we must have gone about six minutes without scoring a field goal."

With the score 48-45, the Hornets went on an 18-6 tear for a 66-51 cushion with 4:15 left.

The Bears made one last run, using a trapping defense and a late scoring burst by junior Scott Deas to close to 70-62 with 1:30 left. But Delaware State managed to use the clock and the free-throw line to put it away.

Freshman Rasheed Sparks led the Bears with 15 points, but the Newark, N.J., native made only five of 14 shots and missed several easy layups, including a breakaway dunk that could have produced a tie in the second half.

Morgan shot only 39 percent from the field (22-for-56) and was also ineffective at the free-throw line (17-for-29).

The Bears led briefly in the first half, 14-12, but Delaware State answered with an 11-0 burst and stole the momentum.

The Hornets made good use of their beefy front duo of 6-foot-9, 250-pound Chris Nurse and 6-7, 250-pound Reginald Stevens, who looked like a couple of rejects from the Dallas Cowboys' offensive line.

Using their bulk, they kept the smaller Bears off the boards and allowed Parker and Hood to score on the offensive glass.

Nurse, a junior from Atlantic City, N.J., grabbed 15 rebounds.

DELAWARE STATE -- Parker 13-21 3-5 29, Stevens 1-1 1-2 3, Nurse 1-6 4-6 6, Morris 2-6 5-10 9, Hood 4-12 0-0 10, Stagg 1-1 0-0 2, Steadman 3-4 4-6 13, McCullough 0-0 0-0 0, Little 0-6 1-2 1, Clarke 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 26-60 18-31 75.

MORGAN STATE -- Sparks 5-14 5-7 15, Holmes 2-5 0-0 4, Crawley 2-3 2-2 6, Grant 5-9 0-0 11, Rucker 0-2 0-1 0, Herron 0-3 0-0 0, Deas 3-5 6-7 12, Bennett 0-0 0-0 0, Watson 0-1 2-5 2, Demory 5-11 0-0 14, Lewis 0-3 2-7 2. Totals 22-56 17-29 66.

Halftime -- DS 36-25. 3-point goals -- DS 5-14 (Steadman 3-3, Hood 2-6, Little 0-2, Clarke 0-1, Parker 0-1); MS 5-15 (Demory 4-8, Grant 1-1, Rucker 0-2, Deas 0-2, Sparks 0-1, Herron 0-1). Fouled out -- Deas. Rebounds -- DS 48 (Nurse 15); MS 35 (Deas 9). Assists -- DS 9 (Morris 4); MS 11 (Sparks 4). Total fouls -- DS 23, MS 25. A -- 1,197.

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