Today's games

February 29, 1996

Coppin (17-9) vs. Howard (7-19)

Site: Gaither Center, Tallahassee, Fla.

Time: 1:30 p.m.

Outlook: Coppin State opens the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament against the same team it defeated to close the regular season. The Eagles downed Howard, 87-54, last Saturday behind 26 points from sophomore G Antoine Brockington (11.9 ppg). Junior C Terquin Mott (19.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg), the conference's Player of the Year, had 15 points and 13 rebounds. Coppin, the second seed, lost to North Carolina A&T in last year's MEAC final, 66-64. These teams split two games this season.

UMES (11-15) vs. Del. State (10-16)

Site: Gaither Center, Tallahassee, Fla.

Time: 3:30 p.m.

Outlook: UMES is the sixth seed in the MEAC tournament. The Fighting Hawks, who have lost nine of their past 11 games, rely heavily on senior G Aaron McKinney (14.5 ppg) because the team lacks an inside presence. Sophomore Brian Parker averages about 15.0 ppg for Delaware State. UMES won both games between the schools this season.

Salisbury (19-8) at F&M (25-1)

Site: Mayser Gymnasium, Lancaster, Pa.

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Radio: WTGM (960 AM)

Outlook: This is Salisbury State's fourth appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament, and the first since 1992. The Sea Gulls, winners of the Capital Athletic Conference tournament, are seeded No. 8 in the Middle Atlantic Region; Franklin and Marshall is the No. 1 seed. Salisbury State, 3-3 in NCAA tournaments, has won 11 games in a row. It's also the second-highest scoring Division III team in the nation, averaging 99.5 ppg. Senior G Casey Musick led the conference at 20.3 ppg. He came off the bench for the last 15 games. The winner advances to Saturday's second round.

UMBC (5-21) vs. Liberty (15-11)

Site: Vines Center, Lynchburg, Va.

Time: 8 p.m.

Radio: WWLG (1360 AM)

Outlook: The Retrievers enter the Big South Conference tournament as the seventh seed, led by senior G Tony Thompson (16.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg). UMBC was eliminated by Liberty in last year's quarterfinals, 57-54, and has lost to the No. 2 seeded Flames twice this season. Liberty finished in a three-way tie for second in the Big South, but was awarded the second seed. Liberty C Peter Aluma, a 6-foot-10 junior from Nigeria, has led the team in scoring 16 times this season. He'll provide a stiff challenge for UMBC freshman C Lenny Barber, who continues to play in place of injured senior Kevin Bellinger (dislocated shoulder).

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