Morgan State's late-season resurgence continued last night as Tim Berkeley 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.
Antonio Webb scored 24 points to lead Bethune-Cookman (10-12, 6-5), which had won three of its previous four.
Morgan 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-point er from the corner to cut Morgan's lead to 61-60 with nine seconds left.
The Wildcats fouled Joseph 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, and Morgan failed to get a decent look on the final possession of regulation.
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. On the ensuing possession, McLean drove and passed to Gomes, who hit a three- pointer from the right corner with eight seconds left to tie the game at 73. Webb's three-pointer at the buzzer rimmed out.
In the second overtime, Webb scored on a driving layup to give the Wildcats a 78-77 lead with 10 seconds left. He was fouled on the play but missed the free throw, and Berkeley was fouled as he grabbed the rebound. The 62 percent free-throw shooter made both for a 79-78 lead, and James Reed added two free throws after Webb missed a three-pointer.
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 (16 points).
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, Jan. 9.
He badly fooled the Wildcats' Cleveland Williams with a ball fake, driving for a layup while Williams looked the other way. That brought the crowd to its feet and gave the Bears their biggest lead at 25-16 with 6:19 left in the half.
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. 3-point goals-Be thune-Cookman 7-22 (Webb 3-12, Carrier 1-1, Barber 1-2, Taylor 1-3, Crumbley 1-3, Mitchell 0-1), Morgan St. 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), Mor gan St. 37 (Berkley, McLean 9). Assists-Bethune- Cookman 7 (Crumbley, Edwards 3), Morgan St. 11 (War field 3). Total fouls-Bethune-Cookman 22, Morgan St. 21. A-n/a.