Hornets fade down stretch, fall 65-54 to Morgan State

DOVER — The box score hurt to look at when coach Keith Walker got his hands on it.

The fact was, Delaware State was outplayed in almost every aspect of the game on Monday night.

The Hornets fell 65-54 to Morgan State in a MidEastern Athletic Conference matchup at Memorial Hall. Delaware State was trying to move back to .500 in conference play but instead dropped to 6-8.

Morgan State out-rebounded DelState 43-26 and the Hornets only had one player score in double-figures.

“We just didn’t play a good game,” Walker said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well. Our leading scorers didn’t get close to what they usually do and we didn’t rebound.”

Even with how much the Hornets struggled, they still had a chance to pull out the victory.

Devin Morgan gave DSU a 44-41 lead on a three-pointer with 8:13 left in the second half. But the Bears scored four unanswered to go back in front and took the lead for good on a Phillip Carr free throw.

The Hornets suffered through a 5:12 drought without a field goal in the closing minutes. Morgan State went on a 17-2 run during this span.

Carr led the way for the Bears with 16 points and seven rebounds. Morgan State grabbed 16 offensive rebounds and had 19 second chance points on the night.

“For some reason it seemed like we were standing around watching,” Walker said. “That’s disappointing because rebounding was the difference in the ballgame.”

DSU’s rebounding was hurt by the fact its starting center and power forward, Demola Onifade and Devaughn Mallory, each fouled out of the game midway through the second half.

The whistles began to pile up in the second half after Morgan State Todd Bozeman was awarded a technical foul for arguing with the officials. Bozeman had to be restrained by his assistants and even shoved one of them out of the way while screaming across the court at a referee.

Walker pointed out the game was called differently after the technical foul. DSU was whistled for four more fouls in the second half than the Bears.

“Once their coach went off it kind of swung the fouls in their favor,” Walker said. “But when those two guys got in foul trouble that helped change the game.”

Looking for a spark, the Hornets turned to seldom-used guard Mahir Johnson in the second half. Johnson scored nine points in 12 minutes in the second half and ended the game tied as DSU’s top-rebounder with four.

Johnson had only played in three games this season entering Monday. He finished as DelState’s second leading scorer behind Morgan who had nine.

DSU’s three-point specialists shot poorly against Morgan State’s zone. Kavon Waller went 2-of-8 from beyond the arc and Dana Raysor was 0-of-3. Waller took the most shots for DelState but finished 2-of-10 attempts and the Hornets shot 39 percent in field goals.

“They pushed the zone out wide and matched up against our shooters” Walker said. “We didn’t do a good job of moving the ball and penetrating the zone. That’s something we’re going to have to get better at.”

WOMEN, Morgan State 71, Delaware State 52: Morgan State head coach Ed Davis, a former DSU women’s coach, earned the win in his first game as an opposing head coach at Memorial Hall.

Braennan Farrar and Tykyrah Williams each scored a game-high 16 points and Chelsea Mitchell added 14 points as the Bears pulled away for their fifth-straight win.

Delaware State dropped to 3-24 overall and 2-12 in the MEAC.

The Hornets were led by NaJai Pollard, who scored a team-high 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting and added seven rebounds before fouling out. Mikah Aldridge came off the bench to score 10 points.

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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