BALTIMORE, Md. – Dwayne Morton (Baltimore, Md./Waynesville [Mo.]) unlocked a door that had been locked for 12 years, 11 months and 30 days with his 3-pointer at the 7:51 mark in the first half. With that basket, Morton became the 10th player in program history to reach 1,000 points in his career and the first since Pierre Jones accomplished the feat 4,747 days ago. The senior also became the first Gopher player to reach the mark since joining the Landmark Conference in a men's basketball contest against Susquehanna University on Saturday.
After scoring 10 points against Catholic on Wednesday, Morton needed seven points to join the exclusive club in Goucher men's basketball history. The senior attempted a 3-pointer that hit off the back of the rim midway through the first half. Fans that watched Kobe Bryant's last game replay on Monday will remember the legend missed his first five shots before he closed the first quarter with 15 points. Morton went on a smaller version of that Kobe run on his way to history.
Morton connected on his next three shots to reach the grand total. He got on the scoreboard with a layup at 9:27 and then nailed a trey at 7:55 to need two points for 1,000 in his career. He then dribbled down the court and swished a 3-ball at 7:31 for the monumental basket and was fouled on play. Morton made the charity toss to move to 1,002 career points.
Morton finished the game with 17 points and now stands at 1,010 career points after finishing the afternoon 6-for-9 from the floor, 2 of 3 from behind the arc and 3 of 3 from the free throw line. Morton joins Bakari Ward, Tavar Witherspoon, Thabo Letsebe and Pierre Jones as the players to reach the mark at the Decker Sports and Recreation Center and while it is the first time a player accomplished the feat against the River Hawks it was the fifth time it was reached against a conference opponent. The team is now 6-4 in a 1,000-point game, but the squad is 1-4 in its last five contest.
Pat Goralski (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) also reached double figures in the game, finishing with 12 points. It is his ninth double-digit point performance this season and 20th of his career.
Goucher jumped out to a 10-4 lead thanks to four points by Cam Isaacs (Randallstown, Md./Randallstown), who had eight points, six rebounds and three assists on the day. Susquehanna came back to take an 11-10 lead before Morton run to 1,000 sparked the Gophers.
Morton's first basket gave Goucher a 12-11 lead. The senior made a triple while the River Hawks scored five points to take a 17-15 advantage with 7:39 on the clock. Morton may have been channeling his favorite player and for Kobe hit a 3-pointer at the top of the key while being fouled at 7:31. With the free throw, Morton gave the Gophers a 19-17 lead.
After the River Hawks tied the game at 19, Josh Lichti (Harrisonburg, Va./Harrisonburg) drained a 3-ball with 6:07 left to give the hosts a 22-19 edge. Ryan Conde (Ewing, N.J./Solebury School) scored in the lane with 4:57 on the clock to give Goucher the lead for the final time at 24-23. Susquehanna closed the half on an 11-4 run to take a 34-28 margin going into the locker room.
The Gophers kept it a six-point game after an Isaacs jump shot at 16:38 and a Morton layup at 15:31, but a 10-1 run by the River Hawks and Goucher could get no closer the rest of the way in a 78-57 loss.
Head coach Tom Rose and his staff joined many of the men's basketball coaching staffs by wearing blue puzzle piece lapel pins during the Autism Speaks Coaches Powering Forward Movement set for this weekend.
Goucher returns to action on Wednesday at home against Juniata College. Game time is 7 p.m.
PICTURE NOTES: Header photo is Morton right before he released his 3-point shot that resulted in him reaching the 1,000-point plateau. First photo of the story is the Goucher bench reaction after his 3-pointer for his 1,000th point. The second photo of the story is after Morton gets up on his feet after being fouled on his 1,000th-point play.