MEAC beat goes on for Coppin St.

January 18, 1994|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,Contributing Writer

Maryland-Eastern Shore's road to Baltimore for its game with Coppin State last night was a snowy and slushy one, and the improving Hawks found out -- again -- that the road to the conference title also goes through there.

The Eagles continued their dominance in the league with a 75-60 victory over the Hawks before a crowd of 475.

With the victory, Coppin State (9-7, 3-0) established the MEAC record for consecutive regular-season wins at 19. The Eagles have won 22 straight overall against league competition, one shy of the record held by North Carolina A&T.

Coppin State, which will attempt to tie the record Saturday at Florida A&M, put the game away by opening the second half with 10-4 run, turning a 36-27 halftime lead into 46-31 advantage.

The Eagles' front line of Stephen Stewart, Mario McGriff and Michael Thomas were the reasons, controlling the boards on both ends and getting inside for easy shots.

Stewart, a 6-foot-5 junior forward led the Eagles with 26 points and McGriff and Thomas added 12 and 10.

The Hawks (7-7, 3-2), who came into the game tied for the second in the league with South Carolina State, were led by 15 from Dale Harrison and 11 by Terrell Harris.

UMES never got it under double digits in the second half, pulling no closer than 11 at 71-60 with 51 seconds remaining.

In their two meetings last season, the Hawks were handled by the Eagles, 79-69 and 75-51.

In the opening five minutes last night, it looked the the trend would continue as the Eagles took a 14-2 advantage with Stewart (seven points) doing the damage.

The Hawks battled back behind Zack Allison, who scored seven during a 14-7 run that pulled them to within 21-16 with 9:21 remaining in the opening half.

Coppin State push the lead to 25-16, before Dale Harrison hit back-to-back three-pointers to close the Eagles' lead to 25-22.

After a jumper by Keith Carmichael gave Coppin State a 27-22, Harrison hit his third straight three-pointer to pull UMES to 27-25 with 4:32 remaining.

But the Eagles closed out the half with a 9-2 run as Stewart scored five points, including a strong spin move in the lane that drew a foul. He hit the free throw giving Coppin a 36-27 halftime lead.

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