Fields pushes Morgan to 81-75 win; Bears adjust early, knock off Delaware State to move above .500


Jimmy Fields scored 22 points to help Morgan State turn away Delaware State, 81-75, last night at Hill Field House.

With the win, the Bears (13-12, 12-5) kept within a game of second-place Coppin State in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference with an opportunity to pass the Eagles when they meet Thursday night at Hill Field House.

The win also put Morgan above the .500 mark in February for the first time since 1989. For those scoring at home, the Bears haven't been two games above .500 since 1979.

"It puts us over .500, which is virgin ground for this program lately," Morgan State coach Chris Fuller said. "It puts us a game back of Coppin with a chance to pass them if we beat them, and it was also a game that we were in danger of looking past."

Morgan State could have been forgiven for overlooking Delaware State (7-18, 4-13), which had to rebound from a 74-63 loss at Coppin State that was followed by a brawl between fans and players.

Nonetheless, the Bears used a 19-7 run during a 7: 30 span to put away the Hornets, who were led by Terrence Hood's 25 points. It was Fields' three-pointer with 5: 25 to go that capped the spurt, giving Morgan a 68-55 lead.

The Hornets, who scored 17 points in the first seven minutes of the game and fizzled thereafter, made a late run, but could get only as close as the final score when Marty Bailey hit a three-pointer as time expired.

"Wasn't surprised," Fuller said of the final margin. "[Delaware State] had won four out of the last five. We knew they would be tough tonight."

The Bears opened in zone defense and Delaware State made them pay for it. The Hornets hit five three-pointers early on, two apiece from Bailey and Hood, whose three with 13: 34 left in the first half made for a 17-8 lead.

"I haven't figured that out yet," Fuller said when asked about the problems with the defense during this period. "We tried a couple of zones, so we came out of that."

The result was that Morgan State went six minutes without allowing a field goal, taking a 26-25 lead in the meantime on the way to a 41-34 halftime edge.

With Rasheed Sparks in foul trouble and Curtis King suffering through a 3-for-14 shooting night, Fields and reserve guard Ronnie Van Hook picked up the slack, combining for 21 first-half points.

"With him off the court it affects our team," Fields said. "We picked up as a team and we pulled one out for him tonight."

Both continued to shoot well in the second half, especially in the clutch. Delaware State pulled within a point, 49-48, on a layup by Leon Piper with 12: 58 remaining.

Van Hook, who finished with 16 points, turned back the 8-0 Hornets run by hitting a three-pointer that helped Morgan State get back on track. Fields, Douglas Qualls and Jason Demory made baskets during the run.

DELAWARE ST. -- Calvert 0-3 1-2 1, Robinson 5-10 0-2 10, Bailey 6-9 3-3 19, Malliet 2-9 0-2 5, Hood 9-18 4-5 25, Rice 0-1 0-0 0, Wilkerson 0-0 0-0 0, Butler 5-11 3-4 13, Clarke 0-2 0-0 0, Piper 1-4 0-0 2, Cromer 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-68 11-18 75.

MORGAN ST. -- Demory 2-9 1-2 6, Fields 7-15 4-4 22, Sparks 2-3 3-6 7, King 3-14 6-6 12, Lewis 2-2 2-3 6, Reece 0-1 0-0 0, McBride 0-1 0-0 0, Van Hook 6-11 0-0 16, Herron 1-1 1-23, Qualls 3-4 1-2 7, Dorcinvil 0-0 0-0 0, Washington 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 27-63 18-25 81.

Halftime--Morgan St. 41-34. 3-point goals--Delaware St. 8-20 (Bailey 4-7, Malliet 1-4, Hood 3-6, Rice 0-1, Butler 0-1, Clarke 0-1), Morgan St. 9-24 (Demory 1-8, Fields 4-9, King 0-1, Van Hook 4-6). Fouled out-- Clarke, Qualls. Rebounds--Delaware St. 42 (Robinson 12), Morgan St. 41 (Qualls 12). Assists--Delaware St. 11 (Hood 3), Morgan St. 12 (Herron 4). Total fouls--Delaware St. 22, Morgan St. 19. A--3150.

Pub Date: 2/23/99

Copyright © 2020, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad