Eagles fly by Missouri in stunner Brockington hits 31, enables Coppin to end 0-16 Big 12 hex, 78-70

'We couldn't cover' him

Rally halted

Stewart denied 600th win at Mo.

December 03, 1997|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Coppin State held on for dear life in the final hectic minutes last night against a rallying Missouri basketball team and walked off the court with a 78-70 upset victory that left 13,300 Tigers fans in disbelief.

The Coppin win ended an 0-for-16 losing streak by the Baltimore school against Big 12 teams and sent the Eagles players dancing toward their locker room in delight.

Senior guard Antoine Brockington, who emerged in last year's NCAA tournament, was once again the hero for Coppin, as he scored a game-high 31 points, with five rebounds and three assists.

"We came here to win and realized we could win at halftime," said Coppin coach Fang Mitchell, whose Eagles (1-1) took a 38-32 lead into the intermission. "We got a lot of help from our big men inside who realized what they had to do differently this time out from what happened at Connecticut" in Coppin's opening loss.

Missouri coach Norm Stewart, who was denied his 697th victory overall and 600th for the Tigers, said, "We couldn't cover Brockington. He got 11 buckets on us and was just a load to handle. We didn't have good shot selection all night and that led to our downfall."

Coppin State led by as many as 15 points in the second half (63-48) with 8: 11 left and maintained a 10-point advantage (65-55) with 6: 48 on the clock.

The Missouri fans watched in disbelief most of the second half before climbing to their feet with a roar when Tyron Lee tossed in a three-point jumper with 5: 22 left, reducing the lead to 65-58 and igniting a helter-skelter rally by the home team at the Hearnes Center.

Brockington answered Lee with a flying jam for a 67-58 lead with 4: 40 remaining and the two teams traded baskets before Missouri (2-3) made a final run with a little less than two minutes on the clock.

Coppin was ahead 74-64 when the Tigers hit two three-pointers to pull within 74-70 with 1: 17 left.

Showing signs of collapse, Coppin missed three straight free throws to keep the Tigers' hopes alive.

But Missouri, which got 19 points from Kelly Thames, missed five straight shots over the next minute before Danny Singletary (18 points) finally ended the Missouri comeback with two free throws for a 76-70 lead with 28 seconds remaining.

The first half was all Singletary and Brockington as the two talented guards dominated the game with their quickness and outside shooting.

The result was a surprising 38-32 halftime lead for Coppin State over the Big 12 team.

First it was Singletary who was hot in the opening 10 minutes and then Brockington took over.

Singletary scored 14 of Coppin's first 22 points and Brockington racked up 12 of the Eagles' next 16.

Brockington finished the first half with 16 points and Singletary had 14.

The two Coppin scoring leaders took turns swiping the ball from the slower Tigers and dashing downcourt for high-percentage shots in the lane or long-range jumpers.

Brockington hit two of four from three-point range in the first half and Singletary was 1-for-1 on three-pointers.

Coppin wound up shooting 55.6 percent from the field in the first half, compared to 48.1 by Missouri. The Eagles wound up hitting 52.8 percent (28 of 53) to Missouri's 37 percent (23 of 62).

Singletary, who led Coppin with eight assists for the game, had four steals for Coppin, which had a stunning 15-13 edge on the boards over Missouri in the first half.

The Eagles simply outhustled the Tigers inside for many rebounds in a much-needed turnaround from a season-opening 72-50 loss to Connecticut.

Coppin was no match inside for UConn eight days ago but in the first 20 minutes last night the Eagles more than held their own up front.

Fred Warrick led Coppin in rebounds in the first half with six and finished with a game-high 10 as Missouri came back to gain a 39-30 edge on the boards overall.

The Tigers are now riding a three-game losing streak for just the 11th time in the last 18 years. The last time Missouri started the season 2-3 was in 1990. That team, ineligible for the NCAA tournament, went on to win the Big Eight Tournament and finish 20-10.

COPPIN STATE -- Warrick 2-10 2-2 8, Pena 2-3 1-1 5, K. Lewis 3-4 2-3 8, Brockington 11-20 4-5 31, Singletary 6-10 5-7 18, T. Lewis 1-3 0-0 2, Reavis 2-2 0-0 4, Watkins 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 28-53 14-18 78.

MISSOURI -- Lee 4-9 0-0 9, Hafer 7-13 1-2 18, Thames 4-9 11-12 19, Ray 0-3 0-0 0, Woods 5-17 0-0 13, Decker 0-3 4-6 4, Grawer 1-2 0-0 2, Parker 1-2 0-0 2, Hardge 1-4 1-2 3. Totals 23-62 17-22 70.

Halftime--Coppin State, 38-32. 3-point goals--Coppin St. 8-18 (Warrick 2-7, Brockington 5-9, Singletary 1-2), Missouri 7-25 (Lee 1-4, Hafer 3-6, Thames 0-1, Ray 0-2, Woods 3-10, Grawer 0-1, Parker 0-1). Rebounds--Coppin St. 30 (Warrick 10), Missouri 39 (Thames 9). Assists--Coppin St. 14 (Singletary 8), Missouri 12 (Thames 5). Total fouls--Coppin St. 19, Missouri 19. A--13,300.

Pub Date: 12/03/97

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