HURRICANE, W.Va. — If a season-opening win over George Washington was a step in the right direction for Capital, Friday's victory has to be considered a giant leap forward.
The Cougars flashed grit, guts, and skill in surviving an early Hurricane onslaught and coming away with a 72-69 road win in front of a near-capacity crowd.
It wasn't just that the Cougars won, it was the fashion in which they did it that was impressive.
The Redskins stormed out of the gate, hitting 13 of 17 shots in the first quarter in building a lead that reached as much as 15 early in the second period. Carrington Morris, Capital's star player, could only watch from the sidelines after not starting due to a coach's decision.
Even when he entered midway through the first quarter, he had difficulty getting into a flow and scored just two first-half points as the Redskins (2-1) led 39-32 at the break.
"I went in at halftime knowing what I did wrong and knowing what I had to do," Morris said. "When I came out of halftime, everything just came together."
In a big way.
Morris scored nine points in the first 1:47 of the first half, then converted a three-point play with 6:23 left in the third to tie the game for the first time.
He'd go on to score 14 of his team-best 21 points in the third period. He added 10 rebounds, six steals, and four assists.
"He has a tendency to do that," Capital coach Carl Clark said of Morris' slow start. "He'll miss some shots and do something real bad and all of the sudden he'll start hitting and his game will just rise. He's a unique kid and a unique player and he's definitely one of the better players in the state."
And this year, Morris apparently has a lot of help.
Bryce Goldsmith held Capital (2-0) in the game early as he scored 11 first-quarter points and finished with 16 and seven rebounds. Then there was Leondre Rogers, who came off the bench and didn't attempt a shot in the first period, but scored nine in the second on his way to 16 points.