Coppin falls to Iowa State in overtime, 77-74 Foul line parade overcomes Singletary's 29

wrist X-ray scheduled for Brockington

December 07, 1997|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

AMES, Iowa -- Life on the road in Big 12 basketball country is never a lot of fun, but Coppin State came ever so close to winning two games in five days in this wild atmosphere.

After upsetting Missouri on Tuesday night in Columbia to end an 0-for-16 drought against Big 12 schools, the Eagles took on Iowa State here last night and nearly pulled off another shocker in the championship game of the Cyclone Challenge.

But Iowa State (4-1) paraded to the free-throw line 22 times in the final 13: 16 of regulation and overtime, hitting 19 foul shots to pull out a 77-74 victory over Coppin before 9,061 roaring Cyclones fans at Hilton Coliseum.

The 19-for-22 performance from the line wiped out a 51-41 Coppin lead with 8: 47 left in regulation and enabled the Cyclones to overcome a combined 49-point scoring show by Danny Singletary (29) and Antoine Brockington.

Singletary was too quick for the Iowa State guards and penetrated the lane all night long to tie his career high, and Brockington played in pain (sprained left wrist) but still managed to score 20 points.

But Brockington did not hit any of his patented three-point shots and that spelled a large part of Coppin's problems.

However, it was the foul line, not the three-point stripe, that proved Coppin's undoing in the end.

Iowa State was 31 of 37 from the line, compared to 10 of 17 for Coppin (2-2).

"It's tough out here on the road," said Coppin coach Fang Mitchell, choosing not to question the officiating. "Now you see what we've been going through on the road. But I'm not going to criticize anybody or complain. I just want to say there was no quit in my players and they played their tails off to the end."

Coppin was called for 28 fouls and Iowa State was hit with 18 in a game that was physical from the outset. The Eagles also had three starters foul out, with forward Kareem Lewis beginning the exodus with 3: 22 left in regulation.

Coppin center Dorian Pena was next to go with 56 seconds left in overtime and Brockington was called for his fifth with 30 seconds on the clock in overtime.

But still Coppin could have won the game if not for some confusion on the part of sophomore forward Greg Hamond after Singletary stole an inbounds pass with nine seconds left in overtime and the Eagles trailing 75-74.

Singletary got the ball to Hamond about 15 feet from the basket, but Hamond apparently thought Coppin was down by three and dribbled out to the three-point line, where he shot and missed. Iowa State's Klay Edwards was fouled on the rebound and hit two free throws to finish his career-high 28-point effort.

Singletary said he wasn't that upset with Hamond for taking the three-pointer. "He had hit one before in the game so I knew he could do it again," Singletary said. "It just didn't work this time."

Singletary admitted he was a little frustrated by all the fouls being called against the Eagles but he didn't criticize the officials.

"We still had our chances and just didn't get the big free throws at the end we needed to hit," said Singletary. "We're all still upbeat and ready to come back next week and play Arizona."

Brockington said he hoped to be ready for the defending national champions Saturday, even though he was wearing a big bandage on his wrist after the game.

"I'll have the wrist X-rayed," Brockington said. "I've been hit on it two times in two nights after hurting it the first time against Missouri. All this has happened in the same area where I broke it in high school my senior year and that worries me a little."

Coppin had staved off a strong comeback by Southwest Texas State, 60-59, Friday to reach the Cyclone Challenge final while host Iowa State had routed Texas Southern, 83-60, to advance.

In all, it was a valiant effort by Coppin against a team that has been to the NCAA tournament three straight years and is coming off a Sweet 16 appearance.

Iowa State lost all its starters from last year but had a strong recruiting year and some excellent talent up front returning.

It was that inside strength and junior-college transfer Jerry Curry that saved the Cyclones last night.

Edwards, Iowa State's junior center, kept pounding away inside against a depleted Coppin front line and wound up with 11 rebounds in addition to his 28 points to lead the winners.

Curry added 20 points and nine rebounds for the Cyclones, who came away with a lot of respect for Coppin.

Iowa State coach Tim Floyd said: "I told you this team was talented on the perimeter and they played even better than I could have imagined. We won it at the foul line where we have lost games in the past."

Pub Date: 12/07/97

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