Back home, Coppin tops A&T, 73-64 But Mitchell not pleased with S.C. State tuneup

January 16, 1998|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

There was no rerun, not even a hint of it.

Coppin State was never endangered by the team that ended its 42-game home winning streak last season, methodically ripping North Carolina A&T, 73-64, last night at the Coppin Center.

The victory was the fourth straight for the Eagles in their first home game in a month and neatly set up tomorrow's showdown here against fellow Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference unbeaten South Carolina State.

Coppin (7-6, 5-0) forced the Aggies into 16 turnovers and 31 percent shooting in the first half, controlling the game with its swarming defense and assuming a 15-point lead.

Little changed afterward, although coach Fang Mitchell was not pleased with the effort.

"We didn't get any kind of rhythm the whole game," said Mitchell, who surpassed John Bates as the top winning coach in Coppin history (212 victories). "I don't know why, but we see an entirely different team at home from the one on the road. That makes me worry a bit about what's coming next."

North Carolina A&T (4-8, 3-3) recovered to shoot 57 percent after the break and closed to 59-51 when Albert Perkins drilled two three-pointers from the corner.

But a basket by Jerel Seamon, a three-point play by Kareem Lewis and two free throws by Lewis extended the margin to 67-51 and ended any suspense about the outcome.

"Kareem did some good work in there for the second game in a row," Mitchell said. "Otherwise, if you want to describe the game, it was ugly. But it went on the left [win] side."

The Aggies' three-game winning streak ended.

"You're not going to beat a good high school team with 16 turnovers in the first half," said coach Roy Thomas. "You've got to take the court like you feel like you belong. You can't go out scared to make mistakes. We had a lack of leadership from our older people."

Danny Singletary, who led Coppin with 18 points, said last year's defeat here was not a factor.

"We just took this as another game," he said. "I don't think the intensity was there."

Pub Date: 1/16/98

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