18-6 game-ending run powers Morgan, 74-59

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The Morgan State University men's basketball team is enjoying its first two-game winning streak of the season, and the Bears continue to be a tough out on their home court.

Last night at Hill Field House, the Bears (5-11, 3-3 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) withstood a second-half rally by Florida A&M; by dominating the final eight minutes behind guard Sam Brand and rolling to a 74-59 victory.

Brand scored 12 of his game-high 19 points during a game-ending 18-6 run by Morgan State. The Bears are 13-3 at home from the start of last season.

Brand, a 6-foot-3 senior from Poly and the Bears' leading scorer, started the decisive stretch with 7:55 left, after Rattlers coach Mike Gillespie was charged with a technical foul. Brand made two free throws, then converted two three-pointers before ending the night by making four more foul shots. Brand made his final two free throws after Gillespie was hit with his second technical and ejected with 31 seconds left.

"I got to the line and got a chance to get my stroke back," said Brand, who struggled with his outside shot and made four of 12 attempts from the field. "My teammates know if I keep shooting, I'm not going to let them down."

Other than surrendering a team-high 18 points to Florida A&M; reserve forward Michael Harper - his fifth three-pointer pulled the Rattlers (3-10, 2-4) within 56-53 with 8:48 left - the Bears were solid.

Morgan State led for the entire second half, shot 50 percent from the field, 82.4 percent from the foul line, recorded 21 assists, out-rebounded the Rattlers 35-23 and allowed one basket over the final 6:25.

"We did what we had to do methodically to win the game. I'm really proud of our defense," Morgan State coach Butch Beard said.

The Bears used three-point shooting to counter foul problems in the first half and took a 37-33 halftime lead. Half of Morgan State's 14 first-half baskets came from beyond the arc.

Florida A&M; found itself in a foul-shooting bonus situation less than six minutes into the half, and the Rattlers kept the Bears from pulling away early by making 10 of 14 free-throw attempts.

Brand gave the Bears their largest first-half lead at 26-18 by hitting a three with 7:46 to go, but Florida A&M; went on a 13-3 run to take a 31-29 lead with 2:38 remaining - its first lead in a little over 12 minutes.

FLORIDA A&M-Glover;, 4-6 0-1 8, Kelly 2-5 5-6 10, Sumter 2-5 3-4 7, Pattman 2-6 0-0 6, Tate 0-10 3-4 3, Mason 1-2 0-0 2, Henderson 0-0 0-0 0, Zamore 0-0 0-0 0, Sams 0-0 2-3 2, Ayodele 1-2 0-0 3, Harper 6-10 1-2 18. Totals 18-46 14-20 59.

MORGAN ST.-Aujla 5-12 1-2 14, Andrews 3-4 0-0 6, Berkley 3-3 2-2 8, Grant 3-7 1-2 8, Brand, 4-12 8-9 19, Timus 1-4 2-2 4, McLean 2-2 0-0 6, Terrell 0-0 0-0 0, Evans 3-5 0-0 7, Lawler 0-0 0-0 0, Warfield 0-0 0-0 0, Phillips 1-1 0-0 2, McIver 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-50 14-17, 74. Halftime-Morgan 37, Florida A&M; 33. 3-point goals-Florida A&M; 9-18 (Harper 5-7, Pattman 2-4, Kelly 1-1, Ayodele 1-2, Tate 0-3, Mason 0-1), Morgan 14-17 (Brand 8-9, Berkley 2-2, Timus 2-2, Aujla 1-2, Grant 1-2. Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Florida A&M; 23 (Glover and Harper, 5), Morgan 22 (Grant 8). Assists-Florida A&M; 7 (Pattman 4), Morgan 21 (Grant 9). Total fouls-Florida A&M; 17, Morgan 22. Technicals-McLean, Tate, Florida A&M; bench, Morgan bench. A-827.

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