Mitchell says lack of focus causes end of Coppin streak

January 27, 1992|By Kent Baker

For 22 consecutive games, Coppin State was invincible in its own gymnasium, but now the streak has ended, and coach Fang Mitchell believes he knows why.

"Our veterans of the past took pride in not allowing people to come in here and take away something we had," Mitchell said. "But the young players we have now might be a little too concerned about who's up in the stands. It's the level of concentration."

The Eagles lost to Howard, 66-64, at the Coppin Center Saturday night in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference while making only 19 of 55 field-goal attempts and committing 19 turnovers.

"We were the victim of a bad shooting night and didn't take care of the basketball well," the coach said. "Howard is a good defensive team, but when you're turning it over without pressure, you've got trouble. These are the things that come with youth."

Still, Coppin had a chance to win, holding the ball with the score tied at 64, but Larry Yarbray's pass was picked off by Milan Brown and converted into a winning layup by Julius McNeil.

* UMES coach Bobby Wilkerson didn't doubt a victory would come, and Saturday night, it arrived at home against Morgan State.

The Hawks broke a 20-game losing streak, including 16 defeats this season, with a 74-62 victory in which they led most of the way.

Marlin Kimbrew led the way with 21 points and six rebounds, and Roderic Caine had seven rebounds, five assists and five steals.

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