UDC lost Michael Britt with a broken nose last night but the other half of the Firebirds' high-scoring duo, Earl Jones, scored 29 points in an easy 74-56, victory over outmanned Morgan State at the UDC Physical Activities Center.
Britt, ranked in the top 10 in scoring (22.5) and rebounding (11.5) in Division II, ran into an elbow early in the first half and had to leave the game. According to UDC trainer Sonny Wellington, the 6-foot-7 Britt was breathing well and possibly could have continued. But as a precaution, he was sent to Washington Hospital Center.
"He ran into a Morgan player and fell flat on his back," Wellington said. "No one knew he was hurt. He jumped right back up and ran down the court a couple of times before complaining about a bloody nose. It was minor bleeding and he said he felt no pain. We think he'll be okay."
Before his departure, Britt scored eight quick points to help the hosts to a 16-6 lead with about 11 minutes to play. The Firebirds, 18-5 and ranked fifth in the latest poll, spoiled any ideas the Golden Bears had of holding the ball. Morgan State (4-18) held the ball in losing to UDC, 34-17, earlier this season.
With only one player over 6-6, Morgan didn't have much chance inside. Jones, who also had 16 rebounds, limited the Bears to few offensive rebounds. He had 15 points and six rebounds as UDC took a 38-22 lead at the half. UDC shot 61 percent in the first half while holding Morgan State to eight field goals.
"Overall, I thought we played pretty well," UDC Coach Wil Jones said. "Red Auerbach was in the stands and maybe the fellows got a bit excited. It's quite an honor for a person of his stature to come to see us after only two years. I played a joke on the guys. I told them Red had come to see me, not them."
Auerbach left at intermission but the Firebird never let up. Reserves Mike Daniels (11 points), Cedric Caldwell and Phillip Morgan performanced well.
"That was it: everyone played good when they came in the game," Earl Jones said.
Morgan, led by Ed Stevens (19 points) and Yarharbrough Roberts (17), made only one run at UDC, scoring six consecutive points early in the second half. But Jones and Kenny Payne totaled 12 straight points to give UDC a 52-34 advantage with 10 minutes remaining.