Pirates outplayed by Morgan State
Down two points in the final minute, the Pirates could not counter on four free throws to lose thier first game of the season to Morgan St. 58-55.
Sophomore Shenai Heber and junior Ebonie Williams both went to the line in the final thirty seconds with chances to tie the game, but Heber missed both of her free throws and Williams hit just one.
Overall in the game, the Pirates were 14 of 27 from the line.
“You got to knock those downs,” Williams said. “You have to work on it. If thats something your not good at, you have to get in the gym and work at it. You cant expect to hit two big shots late in the game if you’re not working on it.”
The Pirates started the game on a bad foot, when the Bears went on a 10-0 run to open the game.
“We’ve come out in our scrimmages and first two games on the road we couldnt have played better the first five, six minutes of the game,” head coach Phylis Mangina said. “We have got to do a better job in our gym taking care of our own business in our gym.”
In those opening minutes, the Pirates turned the ball over several times before a pair of Letitia Curry free throws put the team on the board.
Following the free throws, Williams hit a three-pointer and Curry hit a jump shot to put the Pirates within one.
The Bears would go on nine point another run putting them up 20-10.
But the Pirates answered back with an extended run of their own, scoring 17 points to the Bears’ four to take the lead, 27-24.
Morgan St. would go on a 10-0 run towards the end of the first half, and have the lead at the break 34-32.
The second half was a back-and-forth affair with the two teams exchanging the lead multiple times, including a stretch of time where the Pirates held the Bears scoreless for six minutes and 47 seconds to play with their largest lead of the night, 51-43.
From there, Morgan St. took control of the game.
Following Heber and William’s missed foul shots, the Pirates had one last chance to win the game but Ebonie Williams’ three-point attempt from far out missed.
This was the Pirates’ first in-season tournament loss in their last four tournaments.
Kandice Green led the Pirates with 16 points and 14 rebounds.
Corin Adams led the Bears with 17 points, including the teams final two points, where she hit two free throws to seal the game.
Throughout the game, the Pirates won the battle of the boards. securing 31 defensive rebounds and 16 offensive boards. However, the team only had 13 second chance points.
“You get that many offensive boards, you only score 13 points, I don’t know if you deserve to win,” Mangina said. “You’re doing the work, we’re not finishing at the end.”
The Pirates also struggled with their shooting.
As a team, they shot 30.5 percent from the floor, only making 18 of their 59 shot attempts.
“You can’t do all the work we were doing and miss all of those shots,” Mangina said.
Despite the team’s struggles, they will return to action tomorrow afternoon to face the winner of VCU and Arkansas St. in the consolation game for the “Anaconda Sports ‘The Rock’ SHU Classic. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m at Walsh Gymnasium.
Tim LeCras can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.