Timus lifts Morgan State to 4th straight win, 55-51

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The odds seemed to be stacked heavily against Morgan State's men yesterday.

Their three-point shooters, the most accurate in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, were misfiring badly. Their top inside player, Aaron Andrews, spent virtually all of the second half on the bench with breathing difficulties and the smallish Bears became even smaller opposite Norfolk State's sizable front line.

But Morgan used a lot of grit and help defense and the clutch shooting of Ronald Timus for a 55-51 victory at Hill Field House that extended its winning streak to four and boosted its home record to 6-1.

The outcome could play a big part in helping the Bears (7-11, 5-3) avoid the play-in round at the MEAC tournament by finishing as high as fifth in the regular season.

"Lately, people have stepped up and done the right thing at the right time," said Morgan coach Butch Beard. "I don't have a go-to guy, so I ride the hot hand. Timus was big down the stretch."

"Coach took a timeout and told me I was going to have to give a little more," Timus said. "With Aaron out, that's what I went out there to do."

Andrews was 5-for-5 from the field and had 10 points and six rebounds in the first half, helping the Bears to a five-point lead.

But when he departed, Norfolk (8-9, 6-3) took control of the game behind its seniors, Chakowby Hicks and Ryan Grier, and eased ahead, 37-33. The Bears went more than 9 1/2 minutes with only one field goal, but regained the lead with their only three-pointer in 18 attempts - by Karanvir Aujla.

Timus (14 points) then took over, scoring seven straight and 10 of the team's final 15 points, including the clinching free throw with nine seconds to go.

"We stayed in it and made the big plays when it counted," Beard said. "We're starting to grow."

Hicks was held to 5-for-17 from the field by Chris Grant and others as the Spartans lost to Morgan for only the fifth time in 33 meetings. The previous three had been three-point Bears defeats.

"This is a big win because they were second in the league," Timus said. "Now, we're in good position for the tournament.

NORFOLK STATE-Brown 1-1 2-5 4, Ogunride 2-6 1-2 5, Murphy 0-5 0-0 0, Grier 3-7 4-4 12, Hicks 5-17 7-9 19, Weatherington 0-0 1-2 1, Massogo 2-3 0-0 5, Bunn 0-3 0-0 0, Dieng 1-4 3-4 5, Garrison 0-0 0-2 0, Vickers 0-0 0-1 0. Totals 14-46 18-29 51. MORGAN STATE-Aujla 2-10 0-0 5, Berkley 1-4 0-0 2, Andrews 5-5 0-3 10, Grant 3-11 1-2 7, Brand 2-10 2-2 6, Mathis 2-8 1-2 5, Timus 6-6 2-6 14, McLean 0-3 2-2 2, Evans 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 23-60 8-17 55. Halftime-Morgan State 31-26. 3-point goals-Norfolk State 5-14 (Murphy 0-2, Grier 2-3, Hicks 2-6, Massogo 1-1, Bunn 0-2); Morgan State 1-18 (Aujla 1-7, Grant 0-1, Brand 0-7, Mathis 0-1, McLean 0-2). Rebounds-Norfolk State 42 (Hicks 11); Morgan State 36 (Berkley 8). Assists-Norfolk State 7 (Hicks 3); Morgan State 11 (Grant 5). Total fouls-Norfolk State 22, Morgan State 22. Fouled out-None. A-2,122.

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