Fresno State rolls over Coppin Tough schedule begins with zTC 86-67 loss to Bulldogs

November 14, 1998|By Milo Bryant | Milo Bryant,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

FRESNO, Calif. -- Before the season began, Coppin State coach Fang Mitchell said the season would be "challenging."

Last night's 86-67 loss to Fresno State, however, could best be described as frightful.

Mitchell is trying to piece together six newcomers to a team that last season thrived on the play of Danny Singletary and Antoine Brockington.

"That's definitely not the way I wanted to get started," Mitchell said. "But I'm figuring out what we need to do. We have new people in critical spots, and when you start with new players, this is not the team you want to start against."

Coppin State shot 18.5 percent from the field in the first half and had almost as many turnovers (18) as points (20).

The offense improved in the second half, when the Eagles shot 52.8 percent, but the game was well out of reach by halftime.

"We've got to do a lot better job of taking care of the ball," said Mitchell, who watched his team commit 30 turnovers. "[Fresno State] played determined today, and that's something my guys have to learn. This is the first Division I game for a lot of these guys, and they have to learn what it takes to play at this level."

Coppin State is expecting big contributions from senior forward Fred Warrick, primarily a backup last season, and junior point guard Jorge Cajigas, a junior-college transfer.

Warrick, who scored 28 points, including six three-pointers, in the Eagles' exhibition, was held to six points on 2-for-11 shooting during the first half. He led the Eagles with 19 points on 6-for-20 shooting.

Cajigas (10 points) couldn't handle the aggressive Fresno State pressure, committing seven turnovers in 20 minutes.

"This is all about turnovers," Mitchell said. "That point guard position is a very important spot to me. But, you see, that was his first time in a Division I game, and I'm confident we will do a better job."

Eagles guard Jerel Seamon, who scored 16, made two free throws with 12: 12 remaining in the first half, giving Coppin State a 16-10 lead.

It was all downhill from there. Over the next 7: 48, Fresno State outscored the Eagles 30-4 and took a 40-20 lead into the locker room.

The Fresno State run started after Mitchell called a timeout with 10: 59 left hoping to take care of Cajigas' errant passes.

During the timeout, Fresno State coach Jerry Tarkanian told his team to press the rest of the half. In the next three minutes, Coppin state committed two 10-second violations, two fouls and two turnovers that helped give Fresno State a 19-16 lead.

It didn't matter which Eagles player had the ball. Fresno State trapped every chance it got, shut down the Eagles' passing lanes and generally caused a mass of confusion among Coppin State.

COPPIN STATE -- Reavis 2-5 0-0 4, Warrick 6-20 4-6 19, Watkins 2-5 0-0 4, Seamon 4-11 6-6 16, Cajigas 4-7 1-3 10, Sims 1-3 0-0 2, Hammond 3-6 0-0 2, Pena 2-5 2-3 6, Cooks 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-63 13-18 67.

FRESNO STATE -- Abney 5-7 2-4 12, Roberson 4-11 0-0 8, Ely 10-14 6-10 26, Herren 1-2 0-0 2, Alexander 9-21 2-5 20, Porter 1-3 2-2 4, Ortiz 0-1 0-0 0, McIntyre 0-0 0-0 0, Richard 1-2 0-0 3, Holcomb 5-10 0-1 11. Totals 36-71 12-22 86.

Half--Fresno State, 40-20. 3-point goals--CS 6-22 (Warrick 3-11, Seamon 2-5, Cajigas 1-4, Hamond 0-1, Sims 0-1); FS 2-16 (Holcomb 1-1, Richard 1-2, Herren 0-1, Porter 0-2, Alexander 0-3, Roberson 0-7). Rebounds--CS 46 (Pena 11); FS 35 (Ely 10). Assists--CS 12 (Warrick 5); FS 22 (Herren 8). Total fouls--CS 18, FS 15. Att--10,220.

Pub Date: 11/14/98

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