Revamped Coppin rolls to 119-73 opening win Victory over Lincoln 31st in row at home

November 29, 1995|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,SUN STAFF

It was a coming-out party disguised as a basketball game.

With just two returning players in the fold, Coppin State brought a new look to last night's season opener against Division III Lincoln (Pa.). Four freshmen, two transfers and two sophomores who were ineligible last season made their debuts. They got acquainted with the fans at the Coppin Center, and with each other.

Many of them also played a significant role in helping to maintain the nation's longest home winning streak, as the Eagles rolled over Lincoln, 119-73.

The starting lineup included Antoine Brockington, a 6-foot-2 sophomore who sat out last season for academic reasons. He hit the long-range jumper, he threw down a couple of thunderous dunks, he passed behind his back for a second-half layup, and he led all scorers with 24 points. He also impressed the man who counts the most.

"Every day I see him, I'm impressed," said coach Fang Mitchell, whose teams have won 31 in a row at home.

Brockington's three-pointer with 14:25 left in the game gave Coppin a 76-44 lead. His two free throws with 10:59 remaining stretched the margin to 40 points.

Ten different Eagles scored, including La Salle transfer Terquin Mott with 18, Cleveland State transfer Reggie Welch and senior Allen Watson with 17, and freshman Jerel Seamon with 12. Sophomore Kareem Lew is had 11.

"I know it's going to be a growing situation," Mitchell said. "They have to learn to play with each other. The keys are going to be them playing defense, rebounding the ball and playing as a unit. I'm not really worried about the offense. This team can score."

Mitchell said before the season began that his tolerance for mistakes would have to be greater, but there weren't many flaws in the first half.

The Eagles came out deliberate on offense, using almost all of the 35-second clock on each possession. But that would soon change. The pace quickened, and the Lions (1-3) collapsed.

Coppin's first three field goals were from beyond the three-point arc, but after that, it was mostly transition layups off a rash of Lincoln turnovers. The Eagles scored inside, they scored outside, and during some stretches, they scored at will.

A 12-0 run put Coppin ahead 18-8, and brought a timeout from Lincoln coach Robert Byars that did little good. The surge began with a three-pointer by Watson -- one of only two holdovers from last season -- with 15:42 left in the half.

Brockington followed with a jam, Welch made a layup, Brockington dunked off a pass from senior Kyle Locke and scored on a layup, and Locke made a free throw.

Darius Gilbert, who led Lincoln with 22 points, scored inside, but Brockington made a three-pointer for a 21-10 lead. Welch scored in the lane for a 36-16 bulge, and another Brockington three-point heave extended the lead to 56-29 with 1:50 remaining.

Freshman Dorian Pena scored on a follow at the buzzer, and Coppin had a 62-36 halftime lead.

The Eagles shot 62 percent from the field in the half, including 5-for-12 from beyond the arc. Brockington had 16 points, and Mott added 14 off the bench.

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