It didn't take long for Hammond to regain its confidence.
Less than 24 hours after blowing a 10-point fourth-quarter lead in a surprising loss to Howard, the third-ranked Golden Bears yesterday defeated seventh-ranked Annapolis, 42-40, in the closing game of the Greater Baltimore Women's Basketball Mixer at the College of Notre Dame.
"If we lose a game, we lose," said Hammond's Rene Hines, who scored 10 points and played well overall. "We have to get over it and come back and play hard the next game. This win was very important. It gives us our confidence back. It tells us if we play like we know we can play, we can beat anybody."
Annapolis (2-1) made up a six-point fourth-quarter deficit and tied the game at 40-all on Kia Green's two free throws with 34 seconds to go.
Hines, a 6-foot-1 senior who has signed to attend Georgia State next fall, brought the ball up and took her time before going to her left where she found Crystal Todd posting up.
"I knew Crystal could take their girl," Hines said.
Todd took the pass from Hines, turned and shot. The ball hit the back of the rim and bounced up.
"I thought it was going out," said Todd, a 6-1 junior transfer from DuVal of Prince George's County who led her team with 14 points, six in the final quarter.
The ball fell through the net with four seconds left.
Annapolis called time out with three seconds to go, but never got off a shot as Hines tipped a pass out of bounds with time expiring.
Hammond coach Joe Russo, whose team is playing four games in five days, three against ranked teams, was pleased with the Golden Bears' effort -- especially defensively -- in the fourth quarter.
"We played good in the fourth quarter and bad the rest of the game," said Russo.
Annapolis coach Dave Griffith, whose team won its first two games by 41 and 24 points, was glad to have a close game before facing Arundel on Tuesday.
"It's a good game to play early in the year, because it's only going to make us better," Griffith said. "The kids fought hard."
But they didn't make their free throws.
Hammond (2-1) made seven of 11 from the line, but the Panthers hit only five of 16. Kammi Cottrell (20 points) and Dina Brown combined to make only three of 14.
"The free throws hurt us," said Griffith, who was pleased with his team's defensive effort. "If we had done a better job, it's a different ballgame."
Neither team played well in the first half, which ended with Annapolis ahead, 17-15. Hammond missed 20 of 27 shots and committed eight turnovers and Annapolis was eight of 22 from the field and had 11 turnovers.
Hines put Hammond up 25-23 with a three-pointer from the top of the key with 3: 13 left in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Hammond led, 39-34 with 2: 58 left. Baskets by Jackie Edwards and Kerry Miller cut the Panthers' deficit to one with just under a minute left. Jill Thompson's free throw gave Hammond a 40-38 lead with 44 seconds.
Pub Date: 12/15/96