BALTIMORE - A handful of former Prince George’s County basketball players are finding success at the college level.
Morsell helps Tigers Roar
Towson University Men's Basketball guard Mike Morsell has helped the Tigers start to roll after a bit of a slow start.
The Tigers went 8-9 in their first 17 games before bouncing back to win five straight, capped by an 83-77 overtime victory against the College of Charleston on Jan. 26. Morsell had five points in the game to go along with two assists and two rebounds.
However, Morsell stepped up in the game before that, when he scored a team-high 17 points in a 75-58 victory over Delaware to complete a season sweep over the Blue Hens.
Morsell, who hails from Fort Washington, made 5-of-10 shots from the field and also sank 5-of-6 free throws. He added two blocks and four rebounds as the Tigers rolled to their fourth straight victory.
Morsell has led Towson in scoring nine times this season as the Tigers try to make a late-season run. Overall, this year, Morsell is averaging a team-best 13.2 points-per-game.
Thomas sparks Coppin offense
Tre’ Thomas has given the Coppin State offense a spark after the Eagles lost their first 12 games this season.
Thomas is the team’s third-leading scorer, averaging 9.8 points-per-game as Coppin State won four of its last six games following its terrible start. The Largo native has helped the Eagles get off to a 4-2 start in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) play.
He was the team’s leading scorer with 14 points in their last game, a 74-64 home loss to rival Norfolk State. Thomas has made 40 three-point shots, tops on the team, and is shooting 37 percent from long distance.
Thomas is a junior who hails from Largo and went to Riverdale Baptist School. Coppin State will need his help on offense if it wants to make some noise in the MEAC this season.
Teammate Dejuan Clayton, a freshman guard who hails from Bowie, was selected as the MEAC Men's Basketball Co-Player of the Week, as well as Co-Rookie of the Week, the school announced last Monday.
Clayton contributed a career-high 28 points during an Eagles' victory over Howard on Jan. 16. He also handed out five assists while grabbing four rebounds. Plus, he helped the cause by hitting 11-of-15 from the field, good for 73.3 percent.
Before last Monday's game against Norfolk State, Clayton ranked third on the team in scoring with an average of 10.1 points-per-game. He also led the team in scoring in conference games, posting 13.4 points-per-game in their first five MEAC games.
McCarley to the rescue
The Lady Retrievers continue to get strong play from senior guard Taylor McCarley, who played a significant role in helping the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) women win its third straight game on Sunday.
McCarley, originally from Bowie, scored a game-high 22 points to help UMBC bounce back from an 11-point hole in the third quarter to rally for a 79-72 victory over UMass Lowell.
The victory improved UMBC's record to 8-11 overall and 3-3 in America East play.
Abig reason for that was the play of McCarley, who has been an anchor for the injury-riddled Retrievers this season. She scored nine of her points in the final 10 minutes and made two free throws with two seconds left in the third quarter to cut the River Hawks' lead to 58-51.
She then added two free throws, plus a steal that set up Pandora Wilson's basket, to tie the game with less than five minutes remaining. It was a three-point play from McCarley with 1:04 left that gave UMBC a 74-68 edge and clinched the victory.
Overall, McCarley made 12-of-13 free throws to go along with eight assists and four steals.
On the men's side, Jairus Lyles (DeMatha) came up big for the Retrievers in last Sunday's 102-86 road victory over UMass Lowell.
He scored 22 points with seven rebounds and five assists to help UMBC score 57 second-half points en route to the stunning victory over the River Hawks.
Lyles made 10-of-20 from the field as UMBC got hot midway through the game, rallied and turned the contest into a one-sided affair. Overall, Lyles is averaging 20.1 points-per-game and has grown into one of the Retrievers' top offensive weapons.
Two Washington Capitals made the All-Star Game in Los Angeles. Alex Ovechkin and Braden Holtby were selected, but there’s a Prince George’s County pick from the team also headed out to the big game.
Greg Smith, the team’s head athletic trainer, will be the Eastern Conference’s athletic trainer for the game. Smith is from Bowie and is now in his 17th season with the Capitals’ franchise.
Smith came to the Caps in 1999 after working with the Anaheim Ducks for two seasons. Also, Smith was the trainer for Team USA at the 1998 World Hockey Championships and with the AHL’s Baltimore Bandits. Smith received his Bachelor’s degree in physical education with a concentration in special education from Salisbury State University.
Baysox Anniversary Team
The voting for Bowie’s 25th Anniversary Team will move to its third part next week. Fans already voted for the manager and first baseman and, starting on Feb. 1, can pick the top second baseman.
For more information on the players involved, check out the team’s website at www.baysox.com.