Hill Field House nearing grand reopening for Bears; Morgan to face UMES at revamped home Feb. 20; Notebook


Morgan State's Hill Field House, devoid of activity other than that of construction crews for nearly two years, is nearing completion as the basketball team prepares for its first game there Feb. 20 against Maryland-Eastern Shore.

The Bears' basketball teams will be playing their final games at Gilman today against North Carolina A&T; and Monday night against South Carolina State. A lead in the MEAC could be on the line for the men (9-10, 8-3), a game behind the Bulldogs and tied with the Eagles. Coppin State and South Carolina State play today at noon.

Meanwhile, a recent tour of the gym at Morgan revealed a $13 million project nearly complete, though three months behind a projected opening of Nov. 15.

With the exception of the north side of the building, all of the seats in the field house are in, and the playing surface is down, though in need of resurfacing. The locker rooms are incomplete, as are the athletic department offices, which the staff won't occupy until mid-to-late March.

The Bears will play only three games of the 1998-99 season in the revamped gym, the last of which -- against Coppin State on Feb. 25 -- will feature a ceremony honoring the school's 1973-74 College Division national championship team.

Morgan State won't be alone in christening a facility. UMES opened its $20 million Physical Education and Health Complex on Jan. 23 with the Hawk Invitational track meet and had its first basketball game there last Saturday against Norfolk State. The building will be the site of the MEAC Indoor Track Championships next weekend.

Minnegan renovation

The University System of Maryland Board of Regents approved Towson's plans for renovations to Minnegan Stadium.

Yesterday's unanimous vote clears another hurdle for the $28 million project, which includes changing the stadium's surface from natural to artificial turf and adding 7,000 seats to its current capacity of 5,000.

Now, the $20 million government contribution that Towson expects will be considered for approval by the General Assembly and Gov. Parris N. Glendening.

"It's not over, but it's certainly a positive step," Towson athletic director Wayne Edwards said of the vote. "Without it, we would have been devastated; we could not have gone forward."

Weird stuff

Michelle Jarman is seventh all-time on Western Maryland's rebounding list and fourth all-time in assists. But she is probably going to be remembered for something else. Like a spatula collection.

At her home in Portsmouth, Va., the senior center keeps 200 of the various kitchen implements in all available colors. Some are plastic, others are steel or rubber. The inspiration for this spree was a skit called "Spatula City" by "Weird" Al Yankovic that she saw when she was a ninth-grader.

Jarman is averaging 7.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists for the Green Terror, which is 15-4.

Et cetera

With 22 points against Howard on Monday night, Coppin State forward Trisha Allen became the fourth player to score 1,000 career points in school history. Jody Costa, a freshman swimmer at St. Mary's College, won a Capital Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week award after a school-record time of 1: 01.12 in the 100-yard backstroke against Salisbury State. Washington College hired Rock Hall native Jennifer Miller as volleyball coach. Morgan State hired Baltimore native and former Catonsville CC coach Samuel R. Knisley as tennis coach, replacing Gregory Ogle. Frostburg State hired former Salisbury State star Rebecca Keller to lead its softball program and assist with the women's soccer program. Hood College senior Helen Libby is leading all rebounders in NCAA Division III, with 16.1 per game, followed by Nicole Kilgannon of the College of Notre Dame at 15.4. Erica Pearson of St. Mary's is fifth with 13.6 per game. Salisbury State guard Amy Cooke leads Division III in assists with 8.2 per game. With 670 career assists, the senior from East Windsor, N.J., has a chance to pass Southern Maine's Allison Gagnon (673) and move into third place all-time in Division III.

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