Alexander sidelined tonight against Coppin

December 13, 1993|By Kevin Eck PTC | Kevin Eck PTC,Contributing Writer

An ankle injury will prevent Towson State junior guard Scooter Alexander from playing in tonight's game at Coppin State, Tigers coach Terry Truax said yesterday.

Alexander, who leads the Tigers in scoring (19.0 ppg), aggravated his sore left ankle during his career-high 30-point performance in Towson State's 71-63 win over Delaware on Saturday.

"He originally turned it in practice on Thursday," Truax said. "It's not a severe sprain as much as it's the swelling. We don't really know the magnitude of the injury, but he was on crutches [yesterday]. If he continues to aggravate it, he could be out a couple of weeks. He's definitely not going to play."

After tonight, the Tigers (4-3) are off until Dec. 23 when they play Maryland at the Baltimore Arena.

"If he doesn't play [tonight], he should be at full speed for the Maryland game," Truax said.

How will Alexander's absence affect Coppin State coach Fang Mitchell's game plan?

"We won't worry about that one," said Mitchell, laughing. "Terry's a funny guy sometimes.

"Scooter scored 30 of their 71 points [on Saturday]. I don't have to be a math major to understand that."

Truax and Mitchell may not agree on Alexander's status for tonight's game, but they do concur on the local interest of the contest.

"I don't think we're looking at it as a big game for either program, but the game is good for the city itself," Mitchell said.

Said Truax: "It's great for Baltimore basketball and for local area fans. There are two good teams that will play [tonight]. Except for the University of Maryland, Coppin is playing better than any team in the state. Coppin is probably one of the two or three toughest games on our schedule."

Mitchell said he expects his team to be hungry after coming off a 63-61 loss to No. 22 Virginia.

"With our guys, it's about winning and losing," he said. "We're not looking to build our confidence. We expect to win ballgames."

Winning ballgames is just what Towson State has done recently. Three in a row to be exact.

The Tigers' 4-3 record is their best start after seven games since they went 5-2 in 1989-90.

"When you win three games in a row, you can't be displeased," said Truax, whose team plays eight of its first nine games on the road. "But we're averaging 19 turnovers per game and that concerns me more than the record. Our quality of play isn't anywhere near where I'd like for it to be, but we are developing as a team."

Mitchell made similar comments about the Eagles (4-3).

"We're not progressing according to how far I want them to be, but I can see progress," he said. "The bottom line is that I want to have them doing what they're supposed to when they start [Mid-Eastern Athletic] conference play."

TONIGHT'S GAME

TOWSON STATE (4-3) at COPPIN STATE (4-3)

Site: Coppin Center

Time: 7:30

TV: United Artists Cable Channel 44, 10 p.m. (tape delay)

Radio: WITH (1230 AM), WWIN (1400 AM)

Outlook: The Tigers have rebounded from a three-game losing streak by winning three straight, including a 71-63 victory at Delaware on Saturday. Towson State is off to its best start after seven games since going 5-2 in 1989-90. Junior G Scooter Alexander (19.0 ppg), who scored a career-high 30 points against Delaware, is not expected to play due to a sprained ankle. Towson State also has been getting solid play from sophomore G Ralph Blalock (15.3 ppg) and senior F John James (8.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 19 blocked shots). The Tigers have road victories over Delaware, Dayton and St. John's. Coppin State is the Tigers' fourth opponent this season that had qualified for last year's NCAA tournament. The Eagles are coming off a heart-breaking 63-61 loss to No. 22 Virginia on Thursday. It was the second narrow loss for Coppin, which began the season with a two-point loss to Washington State in the San Juan Shootout. The Eagles are led by junior F Stephen Stewart (17.6 ppg, 4.9 rpg), junior G Keith Carmichael (15.3 ppg) and junior point G Sidney Goodman (14.6 ppg). Towson State won last season's meeting at the Towson Center, 79-74.

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