BALTIMORE, Md.—Morgan Senior guard Bianca Jarrett, who usually saves her offensive explosions for the second half, erupted for 18 of her game-high 27 points in the first half while the Morgan State defense held visiting UMES to just eight points in the first half. The result was a 65-28 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) victory on March 2 at Hill Field House.

Morgan State, which last played 12 days ago against Delaware State, used an 8-0 run to take a 12-4 lead, but the guests scored four straight to pull within 12-8 with 9:40 remaining in the first half.

A layup by first-year center Taryana Kelly was the last time the Lady Hawks would score in the first half, as Morgan State closed out the final 9:40 on a 20-0 run to take a 32-8 cushion into the locker room.

Senior guard Jamesia (Jamie) Smith drained a three-pointer from the right wing just 17 seconds into the second half to extend the hosts lead to 35-8, before the Lady Hawks went on a 10-4 run to pull within 39-18 after a basket by first-year center Taylor Thompson. Morgan State then scored the next nine points of the game in the midst of a 13-2 spurt to extend its advantage to 52-20.

The Lady Bears then closed out the game with a 13-3 run to earn the 65-28 victory. The 37-point margin was also the largest victory for the Lady Bears in the series since a 40-point (81-41) victory during the 1979-80 campaign.

Sophomore guard Chyress Lockhart came off the bench to score eight points, grabbed four rebounds, had a game-high three assists and tied Jarrett for game high honors with three steals.
Sophomore guard Shawnee Sweeney led the Lady Hawks with a team-high seven points. Kelly finished with a game-high nine rebounds for UMES who fell to 7-18 overall and 3-11 in the MEAC.

Morgan State shot 41 percent (22-of-53) for the game and connected on 8-of-17 from three-point range (47 percent). UMES made nine field goals out of 56 attempts (16 percent) and shot 2-of-18 (11 percent) from three-point range.

Jarrett would finish the game shooting 10-of-17 from the field, including 6-of-11 from three-point range and pulled down a team-high six rebounds in 25 minutes of play.

The eight first-half points allowed were the fewest this season since the Lady Bears’ held Wesley College to 10 points in the first half of an exhibition game (11/6). The 28 points scored by UMES were just six points more than Wesley scored in the 109-22 loss.

The last time Morgan State held an opponent to less than 30 points was in a 73-26 victory over Bethune-Cookman during the 1989-90 season. The 28 points are also the fewest points scored this regular season by an opponent. North Carolina Central held that mark, scoring 39 points in a Jan. 28 55-39 loss to Morgan State in Durham, N.C.

The Lady Bears’ 37-point victory was the largest this season and is the biggest margin of victory for Morgan State since defeating North Carolina Central by 37 points (75-38) during the 2009-10 season.

Morgan State improved to 10-17 overall, 7-7 in the MEAC with the victory and avenged a four-point loss earlier this season in Princess Anne, Md. on the Lady Hawks’ Feb. 16 homecoming. Morgan State led that game by as much as 11 points in the second half.

The Lady Bears will host Delaware State on March 4 in a MEAC game at 5:30 p.m. at Hill Field House. Morgan State won the first meeting this season, 69-67 in overtime in Dover, Del. Feb. 18 and trails the all-time series, 39-29. 


Kevin Paige

Special to the AFRO