Out of sync, BayRunners fall to Rhythm, 95-80; 10-point second quarter too much to overcome


RICHMOND, Va. -- Take away the second quarter and the BayRunners played fairly well last night against the Richmond Rhythm. The BayRunners' poor performance in the second quarter, though, was enough to ensure Richmond a 95-80 victory before 1,104 at Richmond Coliseum.

The BayRunners hit three of 13 field-goal tries in the second period and committed 10 turnovers en route to falling to the team that is chasing them for the final playoff spot in the International Basketball League's East Conference. The BayRunners scored 10 points in the quarter.

"We wanted to get more spacing on offense," the BayRunners' Monty Wilson said of his team's halftime adjustments. "But once we got it clicking on offense, our defense broke down. It's either one or the other with this team."

The Rhythm forced Baltimore into 34.3 percent field-goal shooting overall and scored 30 points off the BayRunners' 25 turnovers. Richmond totaled 11 steals and seven blocked shots.

"Our defensive pressure is coming on," Rhythm coach Ralph Sampson said. "We created turnovers and it took them out of their game."

Wilson led the BayRunners with 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Brent Dabbs and Rodney Elliott added 15 points apiece. A. J. English paced Richmond with 22 points, and Korleone Young added 19.

English hit a three-pointer on the first play of the fourth quarter to give the Rhythm a 69-53 advantage. LaBradford Smith later converted three free throws after being fouled on a three-point attempt, and the BayRunners closed to 69-60 with 10: 04 left.

But the Rhythm regained a 16-point cushion within the next five minutes after center Phil Cartwright hit two free throws for an 84-68 lead.

The BayRunners' sluggish effort was puzzling considering Richmond was playing for the second straight day.

"They kind of seemed like they were in disarray," Richmond forward Kermit Holmes said.

The BayRunners played without guard LaMarr Greer, who was nursing a foot injury.

Wilson, though, still thinks the BayRunners have a competitive a team.

"We've got some talent," Wilson said. "We've got to keep our heads up and pull it together."

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