Morgan outlasts Coppin, 54-48 MEAC women

March 07, 1997|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

NORFOLK, Va. -- Neither side wanted to play the other in the opening round, but fate put them together.

And when they convened yesterday at the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference women's quarterfinals, they found an officiating crew ready to call everything but hyperventilation.

Morgan State (15-12) received the most benefit from the 59 personal fouls whistled in the game and outlasted cross-town rival Coppin State, 54-48, at Echols Hall.

The third-seeded Bears will meet No. 2 Florida A&M in the tournament semifinals today at 3 p.m.

"We were never given a chance to get into our game," said an emotional Tori Harrison, the Coppin coach. "I just wish the game could have been decided by the teams. I would have had no problem if we lost that way."

Coppin (7-20) dropped its seventh straight game in its first tournament meeting with the Bears.

The Eagles lost second-team All-Conference forward Lisa Briggs on fouls with 8: 35 to play and two more frontcourt players subsequently fouled out. The Eagles were charged with 37 personal fouls, 15 more than Morgan.

"I feel a total letdown for the kids," Harrison said. "Our leader fouled out early, but they all rallied together and played very hard."

After Briggs fouled out, the Bears had a 16-point cushion and seemed ready to coast to the wire. However, Coppin charged back to within four points three times before two free throws by Courtney Warfield with 12 seconds to go finally settled it.

The Eagles finished the game with four former walk-ons on the floor in a game further marred by 59 turnovers and a composite 29 percent field-goal accuracy.

"The biggest thing is we did everything we wanted to do to get the early cushion," said Morgan coach Darcel Estep. "We were getting the calls in the first half. Coppin then gave us a storm, but my kids fought back."

Pub Date: 3/07/97

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