Morgan State's late-season resurgence continued last night as Tim Berkley made two free throws with 10.9 seconds left in the second overtime to lift the Bears to a thrilling, 81-78 win over Bethune-Cookman at Hill Field House.
The Bears (2-19, 2-8 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) won for the second time in three games after a season-opening 18-game losing streak, but only after blowing a six-point lead in the final minute of regulation and then rallying from five down in the first overtime.
Joseph McLean led four Morgan players in double figures with 23 points, and Berkley added 18 points and nine rebounds.
Antonio Webb scored 24 to lead Bethune-Cookman (10-12, 6-5), which had won three of its previous four.
Morgan, which was coming off an overtime loss to Florida A&M; on Saturday, appeared to have the game in hand when Marcus Gomes hit a three-pointer from the left corner for a 60-54 lead with 48 seconds left. But Anis Taylor answered with a long three-pointer, and after Morgan's Chris Warfield made one of two free throws, Webb made a three-pointer to cut Morgan's lead to 61-60 with nine seconds left.
The Wildcats fouled McLean on the ensuing inbound play, and he missed both free throws with 6.8 seconds left. Anis grabbed the rebound and was fouled by McLean. He made the first free throw but missed the second, leaving the game tied at 61.
In the first overtime, it was Morgan's turn to rally. Webb hit a 16-footer that gave the Wildcats a 73-68 lead with 27 seconds left and sent many Bears fans for the exits. But McLean scored on a driving layup, and Webb then was called for traveling. Gomes then hit a three-pointer from the right corner with eight seconds left to tie the game.
In the second overtime, Webb's layup gave the Wildcats a 78-77 lead with 10 seconds left, and he was fouled on the play. He missed the free throw, and Berkley was fouled as he grabbed the rebound. The 63 percent free-throw shooter made both for a 79-78 lead.
Said Morgan coach Butch Beard: "It should have never gone into overtime, but we ended up making plays, and that's what this is all about. We hit free throws when we had to hit free throws, and we ended up making stops in the second overtime when we had to, so we won the game."
Morgan led at the half for just the third time all season, 31-30, on the strength of 54 percent shooting from the field, 10 points from McLean and the physical play of Tyree Spinner, who scored seven of his 16 points in the first half.
Spinner, a 6-foot-7, 300-pound forward who doubles as a tight end for the Bears football team, wasn't even on the Bears' roster when Bethune-Cookman beat Morgan, 58-41, on Jan. firstname.lastname@example.org
BETHUNE-COOKMAN-Webb 8-18 5-6 24, Edwards 0-0 2-2 2, Taylor 1-6 3-4 6, Barber 4-12 2-4 11, Williams II 6-12 5-7 17, Crumbley 2-4 0-2 5, Carrier 2-2 0-0 5, Williams 0-1 0-0 0, Mitchell 4-11 0-0 8. Totals 27-66 17-25 78. MORGAN STATE-McLean 9-16 4-9 23, Gomes 2-9 2-2 8, Warfield 3-6 6-8 12, Berkley 7-14 4-5 18, Spinner 7-16 1-3 16, Jenkins 0-0 0-0 0, Reed 0-2 2-2 2, Branch 1-1 0-0 2, Folayan 0-0 0-0 0, Cunningham 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 29-66 19-29 81. Halftime-Morgan State 31-30. End of regulation-Tied 61. End of 1st overtime-Tied 73. Three-point goals-Bethune-Cookman 7-22 (Webb 3-12, Carrier 1-1, Barber 1-2, Taylor 1-3, Crumbley 1-3, Mitchell 0-1), Morgan State 4-14 (Gomes 2-5, Spinner 1-2, McLean 1-4, Cunningham 0-1, Reed 0-2). Fouled out-Barber, Gomes, Williams II. Rebounds-Bethune-Cookman 47 (Williams II 12), Morgan State 37 (Berkley, McLean 9). Assists-Bethune-Cookman 7 (Crumbley, Edwards 3), Morgan State 11 (Warfield 3). Total fouls-Bethune-Cookman 22, Morgan State 21. A-1,162.