Arena suggested as MEAC tourney site

February 17, 1993|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Staff Writer

Picture a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament title game between Coppin State and Morgan State.

Better yet, instead of watching that possible matchup before 2,000 or 3,000 fans at the Norfolk (Va.) Scope on March 6, imagine it at the Notebook

Baltimore Arena. Defending champion Howard, Delaware State and UMES are within a 2 1/2 -hour drive of the Arena, and with the tournament finishing a three-year contract with Norfolk, the northern end of the MEAC feels it's time for a return to Baltimore.

"I made a recommendation at a meeting two weeks ago that the tournament come to the Arena," said Morgan State interim athletic director Joe McIver. "The commissioner [Ken Free] wants to wait and see what happens in Norfolk, but I hope the conference takes a serious look at coming back to Baltimore.

"I think the geographic issue is important. The odds that one of five schools will be in the final is pretty great, and that would help the crowd."

Next year marks the 20th anniversary of one of the best MEAC finals, the 1974 game in which UMES and Joe Pace beat Morgan State and Marvin Webster in what was known then as the Civic Center. McIver and others think it would be the perfect time to return to the Arena, which bid for the tournament three years ago but lost to Norfolk.

An MEAC tournament could be a dress rehearsal for the Arena, which will be the site of NCAA East Regional first- and second-round games in 1995.

UMBC will be the host institution then, and Retrievers athletic director Charlie Brown will take his teams to the Arena for the third straight year tonight. The Retrievers women play Mount St. Mary's at 5:15, and the men meet Loyola at 7:35. The men are looking for their first win at the Arena. They lost to Penn State

last year and Boston University two years ago.

MEAC winter championships

Morgan State will try to make it nine straight MEAC wrestling championships for coach Jim Phillips on Friday at Hill Field House. Bouts begin at 10 a.m., and finals are scheduled for 5 p.m.

The MEAC indoor track and field championships will be run Friday (5 p.m.) and Saturday (9 a.m.) at the University of Delaware's field house, and Coppin State and Morgan State figure prominently in the men's and women's projections. The Morgan State women and Florida A&M men are defending champions.

Coppin State has the better distance lineup and Morgan State the superior sprint depth, but both men's teams have strong jumpers. Bobby Baker, a junior with the Eagles, has reached 51 feet, 4 inches in the triple jump, and the Bears' Antoine Peck, a transfer from Rider, is a 7-foot high jumper.

Coppin State's Diana Pitts, who was fourth in the 200 and fifth in the 400 last year, will move up and probably dominate the 800 and 1,500. She's the MEAC cross country champion.

March Madness for Loyola?

Other than the men's basketball team, which could end up with one of the worst records in the history of a program that tipped off in 1908, Loyola is having a solid school year.

Men's golf and soccer and women's volleyball won Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championships in the fall, and the women's swim team won its fourth straight MAAC title last weekend. Kathleen Murray, a freshman out of Notre Dame Prep, took the 200 butterfly, was second in the 400 individual medley and third in the 200 individual medley.

The women's basketball team beat Iona, 67-59, last night, giving the Greyhounds sole possession of first place in the MAAC and 10 victories for the second time in their Division I history.

In its first three seasons in the MAAC, Loyola won four conference games. Under first-year coach Pat Coyle, the Greyhounds hope to peak next month at the MAAC tournament, which sends its champion to the NCAA tournament. Sophomore forward Patty Stoffey, last season's Rookie of the Year, is making a bid for MAAC Player of the Year.

Briefly note

The baseball season begins Saturday, with Coppin State going to Old Dominion for a doubleheader. . . . Howard, Baltimore City, Montgomery-Germantown and Dundalk drew first-round byes in the Maryland JuCo 12-team men's basketball tournament, which runs tomorrow through Sunday at Chesapeake. . . . Navy will try to make it two straight Patriot League titles in women's swimming this weekend at Colgate.

Awards

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Men's basketball Maryland: Freshman F Exree Hipp was named Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Week. He averaged 14.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals in losses to North Carolina and Florida State.

Mount St. Mary's: Freshman G Chris McGuthrie was named Newcomer of the Week in the Northeast Conference for the fourth time. He averaged 19.7 points in a 2-1 week.

Salisbury State: Junior G Dameon Ross was named ECAC Division III Southern Player of the Week. He scored 54 points in two victories.

Towson State: Senior G Devin Boyd was named Player of the Week in the Big South Conference. He averaged 32.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists in three victories and became the Tigers' all-time leading scorer.

Women's basketball Salisbury State: Senior G Jennifer Boone was named Player of the Week in the Eastern States Athletic Conference. She had 27 points and nine assists in two games.

Women's gymnastics Towson State: Senior Gabby Linarducci was named ECAC Division I Gymnast of the Week. She repeated as all-around winner with a score of 38.05 at the Maryland State Meet, and posted a career-best and meet-record 9.75 on the balance beam.

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