A week ago, it was the conference game of the season, but last night's contest between Coppin State and Delaware State was nothing more than a blowout.
The Eagles broke the game open early and led by as many as 31 points on their way to a 97-71 victory in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game at the Coppin Center.
It was the 10th straight win for Coppin (14-8, 10-1) and the Eagles' 22nd in a row at home.
Last week's contest was a first-place showdown, but this game lost a lot of its luster, with the Hornets (12-10, 5-6) having lost four straight coming in. The slide coincides with the loss of guard Emanual Davis, the league's fourth-leading scorer, who has an injured wrist.
Reggie Isaac, the MEAC's top scorer, led Coppin with 29 points, and Larry Stewart, the league's third-leading scorer, added 25 and grabbed 18 rebounds. Tom Davis led the losers with 24.
"The positive is that we didn't play exceptionally well and we still won by 26," Coppin coach Fang Mitchell said. "I think our execution still needs to be better."
The Eagles dominated a game that was close only in the opening minutes. Freshman guard Tariq Saunders (17 points, five rebounds in 19 minutes) hit back-to-back three-pointers eight minutes into the game to give the Eagles a 25-11 lead.
"Tariq has always been able to play like that, but we just decided to bring him up slowly," Mitchell said of Saunders, who scored 12 first-half points. "He was a scorer out of high school, but he's just needed to make the transition from power forward. We're looking for him to get better."
The closest Delaware State would get the rest of the half was 28-17 after a layup by Paul Newman with 9 minutes, 50 seconds remaining. Stewart, whose 13.4 rebounding average going in ranked him third in the nation, scored nine of his 12 first-half points in the last 10 minutes, and the Eagles led by as many as 25 on their way to a 50-30 halftime lead.
A jumper by Isaac gave Coppin its biggest lead, 79-48, with a little more than eight minutes left, as Delaware State never was able to put a run together.
"We just had no gas or energy tonight," Delaware State coach Jeff Jones said after his team was held 16 points below its average. "We just have to regroup and try to get back at it."