Coppin hands one to Del. State, 96-93

February 06, 1992|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Sun Staff Correspondent

DOVER, Del. -- Coppin State hasn't suffered many losses worse than the one it endured last night.

The Eagles trailed by 17 points in the first half, rallied to lead by eight with 5 minutes, 22 seconds left, then proceeded to hand Delaware State a 96-93 victory before 2,538 at Memorial Hall. The Hornets scored the game's final six points, as Coppin State committed three of its 21 turnovers in the final 25 seconds.

Coppin State was losing for the third time in its past five Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference contests. Delaware State, which had an 11-game home winning streak ended Monday by South Carolina State, had lost to this same Eagles team by 23 points in Baltimore last week, and Coppin coach Fang Mitchell was disturbed by the turn of events.

"The critical thing is the turnovers," Mitchell said. "I don't know what the problem is. We've been taking care of the ball all year long, and now we go through this. It might be a lack of concentration, but whatever, we've got to play smarter at the end of a game."

The game was riddled with fouls and the second half lasted more than an hour. The Eagles made 37 of 46 free throws and the Hornets 37 of 45. Four players on the home team fouled out, and seldom-used reserve Kareem Allen's only shot, with 23 seconds left, was the game-winner.

Coppin State appeared to have taken control of the game with 5:22 left, when it took an 86-78 lead on Tariq Saunders' drive. But the Eagles didn't get another basket, scoring their last seven points at the free-throw line. The Eagles had a 93-90 lead on a pair by Saunders with 1:06 left, but Hijr Sabree's two shaved the difference to one.

The shot clock was turned off with 42 seconds left when Coppin State restarted, but Saunders couldn't control a pass from James Mazyck with 25 seconds left. Two ticks later, Allen had hauled in a court-length baseball pass and converted what proved to be the winning basket despite a foul by Saunders.

The loss dropped the Eagles from second place to fifth in the MEAC. Coppin State will try to bounce back Saturday at home against Florida A&M.

COPPIN ST. (13-8, 7-4) -- Yarbray 6-11 5-7 17, Goodman 0-3 8-8 8, Carmichael 5-5 2-3 13, Johnson 0-2 0-0 0, Mazyck 3-6 8-10 14, Woods 6-11 6-8 18, Robinson 0-2 0-0 0, Massey 0-0 2-2 2, Saunders 7-16 6-10 21, Dickerson 0-0 0-0 0, Howard 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 27-61 37-46 93.

DELAWARE ST. (10-11, 7-3) -- Williams 5-12 3-3 14, Miles 1-6 9-11 11, Caldwell 2-5 5-6 9, Parmley 3-3 0-0 6, Boger 6-11 11-15 24, Allen 1-1 0-1 2, Griffin 4-8 1-1 10, Sabree 4-8 2-2 10, Ratcliff 2-4 6-6 10, Dennis 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 28-60 37-45 96.

Halftime--Delaware St. 50, Coppin St. 43. 3-point goals--Coppin St. 2-7 (Carmichael 1-1, Saunders 1-2, Robinson 0-2, Mazyck 0-2), Delaware St. 3-10 (Boger 1-2, Griffin 1-3, Williams 1-5) Fouled out--Coppin St. (Johnson) Delaware St. (Caldwell, Parmley, Boger). Rebounds--Coppin St. 37 (Woods 9), Delaware St. 42 (Sabree, 8). Assists--Coppin St. 9 (Yarbray 4), Delaware St. 19 (Sabree, 6). Total fouls--Coppin St. 30, Delaware St. 32. A--2,538.

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