"They played the transition game tonight better than they have all year," HJC coach Jim Brown said.
It was a real testament to HJC (18-7, 9-2 Md. JuCo). The Hawks started their season of change with just one experienced sophomore on the roster. They lost six players - four to academics and two who quit the team - and played without Robert Gregory Saturday. Gregory missed the game because of a death in his family.
Despite the short bench, HJC was able to run with Montgomery-Germantown - a team averaging 97.4 points behind Derrick Hines, Maryland JuCo's leading scorer at 33.7 per game.
The Hawks ran with the Griffins, and left them in the dust.
Morse, who didn't start for disciplinary reasons, entered the game with HJC trailing 9-8 with 17 minutes remaining in the first half and immediately gave the Hawks a boost.
The 5-foot-11 guard hit an 18-footer to give HJC the lead and helped the Hawks build a 15-11 advantage with his first of five 3-point baskets on the night. Morse added a pair of scintillating dunks to help the Hawks build momentum.
"I really felt it today," said Morse, who didn't start because he was late for practice. "I was just shooting well. I'm just starting to feel comfortable and confident and shots are starting to fall."
Morse and DeWayne Jacobs, who finished with 22 points, combined to conteract the 37-point outing by Hines. Jacobs hit a transition jumper with 11:40 remaining in the half to start a 29-10 run to give HJC a 53-29 lead.
From there, the Hawks never looked back.
"(Morse) had a great game," Brown said. "He was all over the floor and on the boards. He made some super shots and ignited the crowd with his dunks."
All eight HJC players scored. Devon Wade added 16 points and 17 rebounds. Brian Samuels found the wide open game to his liking, scoring four points to go with 17 assists.
"The first half, I'd say for 15 of the 20 minutes was about as good of basketball as you will see," Brown said. "We didn't just execute the fast break, we finished it with great shots."