Ice Cold in Baltimore
Men's basketball struggles early and can't recover to end east coast road swing.
Dec. 21, 2011
BALTIMORE - Finishing a two-game road swing on the east coast LMU men's basketball looked sluggish from the beginning and they couldn't recover, falling to Morgan State 69-45 at Hill Field House in Baltimore, Md., on Wednesday night.
The Lions shot just 32.1 percent (9-for-28) from the field and committed 11 of their 18 turnovers in the first half to set the tone for their struggles throughout the game. Morgan State, who entered the game one of the lowest three-point shooting teams in the nation, matched a season-high in three-pointers with five in the first half to earn the early cushion.
"We couldn't do anything right," said Head Coach Max Good. "You are going to have games where shots don't fall, but you have to be willing to work at other areas to work through that. We flat out didn't do that tonight."
It didn't get much better in the second half as the Lions (6-6) finished the game shooting just 35.3 (18-for-51). Morgan State (2-7) finished hitting 47.4 percent. The Bears finished 6-for-19 from the three-point line while the Lions were just 3-for-19, its lowest total of the season.
"We had some looks we have hit all season, and they didn't fall," said Good. "And then we didn't respond to overcome that."
C.J. Blackwell was the only Lion in double digits with 10 points while Anthony Ireland had six points, nine rebounds and a career-best 11 assists. DeWayne Jackson led four players in double figures with 14 points and eight rebounds.
LMU scored the first four points of the game, but Morgan State, who was playing just their second home game of the season, went on a 14-3 run to take a 14-7 lead. The Lions cut the lead to 18-15 before a 12-4 run by the Bears built a 30-19 lead.
Blackwell hit a three-pointer with 30 seconds left in the first half to cut the lead to 30-22, but Larry Bastfield hit just his second three-pointer in 18 attempts on the season with just a second left to give MSU a 33-22 lead at the half.
The Lions struggles continued into the second half as they missed their first five shots, including a breakaway layup opportunity. Morgan State wasn't much better with three turnovers and two missed shots.
LMU would get the lead down to seven, 39-32, on a lay-in by Blackwell with 14:02 to play in the second half. However, a 5-0 run by Morgan State would get it back to double digits and pull away.
The Lions head home to face Vanguard on Tuesday, Dec. 27 at 6 p.m. The game is free to all and will include $1 hotdogs thanks to Sodexo.