Maryland, Coppin court date for matchup Mitchell optimistic game could happen next year

Maryland Notebook

December 20, 1997|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

One of the most intriguing potential state basketball matchups -- Maryland vs. Coppin State -- could occur as soon as next season.

Coppin has vaulted to much higher national visibility than in 1989, when the Eagles pulled off a 70-63 upset against the Terps in the only game played between the two schools. Coppin is the only state school to have a series edge over Maryland.

Coppin coach Fang Mitchell said he is optimistic about the chances of playing Maryland next season.

"We came close to having it worked out this season," Mitchell said this week. "Gary Williams gave us a Feb. 28 date at the Baltimore Arena, but we are playing Bethune-Cookman that day in Orlando. We're hoping to get an acceptable date for next year, and I believe Maryland is sincere in wanting to play us."

Towson's de Pablo slumps

Towson sophomore guard Raul de Pablo looked as if he might become a major scoring threat this season when he tied a school single-game record with six three-pointers in a 75-72 loss to Michigan on Nov. 24.

His 18 points against the Wolverines were a career high, but he has only scored a total of 20 points over the next five games, causing his average to drop to 5.4 points for the 2-5 Tigers.

De Pablo has started all seven games for Towson and has scored all his points from the field on three-pointers. He is 11-for-21 from long range but 0-for-5 from inside the arc.

The graduate of St. John's Prospect Hall in Frederick will try to break out of his slump today when Towson travels to play James Madison.

Salisbury State's Kristin Archer, a two-time All-America field hockey goalkeeper, is profiled in the "Faces In The Crowd" section of the Dec. 22 issue of Sports Illustrated.

Archer (North Harford) led the Sea Gulls to a No. 1 regular-season Division III ranking this fall and a berth in the NCAA quarterfinals.

Archer, a senior, holds school career records for shutouts (30) and saves (375). With her in goal, the Sea Gulls had a 45-12 record.

Et cetera

The jersey of Jason Coffman, a four-time Salisbury State first-team lacrosse All-American, was retired earlier this month, making him the fourth athlete in school history to be accorded such an honor. He finished his career in 1996 as the all-time scoring leader in collegiate lacrosse at any level with 249 goals and 202 assists. He also was the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Division III Player of the Year in 1994 and 1995. The final results are in for the fall, and Frostburg State posted an 80-28 record in seven sports, with the football team going 6-3 for a ninth straight winning season and the men's cross country squad capturing the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Region championship. John Burns, Greg Elliott, Paul Loebach, Breck Robinson and Anne Wellington will be inducted into the UMBC Athletic Hall of Fame on Jan. 31. Also, former UMBC coach and administrator Tom Rider will receive the Dr. Charles Woolston Award in recognition of his service to the school in athletics, physical education and recreation.

Las Vegas Bowl

No. 23 Air Force (10-2)

vs. Oregon (6-5)

Time: 6 p.m. today

TV: ESPN2

Line: Oregon by 3 1/2

Series: Oregon leads 7-3-1

Last meeting: Air Force won, 20-10, in 1981

Coaches: Fisher DeBerry, 13th season at Air Force (108-62-1);

Mike Bellotti, third season at Oregon (21-13).

Outlook: Air Force's traditionally explosive option attack has been overshadowed by a dominant defense. The team allowed 12.4 points per game -- the third-lowest mark in the nation -- and led the Western Athletic Conference in total defense. The Falcons will face an Oregon offense that scored 30.8 points per game and has some standout talent at the skill positions. TB Saladin McCullough led the Pac-10 in rushing with 1,193 yards, and Pat Johnson is among the league's leading receivers (903 yards, six TDs) and most dangerous return men.

Pub Date: 12/20/97

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