November 17, 2008 1:51 pm ET by Kyle Whelliston
Maryland-Baltimore County at Morgan State
Hill Field House - Baltimore, MD
7:00 PM EST
The Beltway area enjoyed a mid-major hoops renaissance last season. UMBC won the America East for the first time ever, American claimed the Patriot League title after years of being defined by its runner-up finishes, and then there were the Morgan State Bears of the MEAC, which ran the league all year but was devastated on its final possession in the title game, falling to Coppin State (also a Baltimore school, of course) by a 62-60 count.
Now it's a new year -- for the Retrievers, the Bears, and for everybody's favorite Mid-Majority weekday feature, the G!O!T!N!. These two squads do have history together, and are now engaged in a home-and-home back-and-forth series. Last season, UMBC made a Charm City statement by beating Morgan by eight at their place. It was one of those games that we would see a lot of for the rest of the season: four in double figures, and no need for multiple basketballs. Three of those four are gone, but Daryl Proctor is back to run the show. The 6-4 senior is coming off a 20-point performance in a glorified exhibition against Stevenson on Saturday.
Morgan State is dealing with some defections too. TMM guiding light Boubacar Coly left early, leaving the Bears in need of some rebounding and defensive-intensity replacement. They were outboarded and outshot in their first game, a tight three-point loss to LaSalle the other day, but holdover Marquise Kately had seven while scoring 13. Morgan had four in low double figures, yet only managed 33 percent shooting while keeping the ballgame close with good ball control (only 11 turnovers). Tonight will be a good opportunity to see how the MEAC regular season champs' offense takes shape.
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