Morgan State women's basketball team found out from last night's 76-55 loss to host Coppin State just how far it is from reaching its potential.
Last week the Bears took defending MEAC champ Howard to the wire before losing by six points. The indications after that game were positive, but last night's reality was the opposite -- 35 percent field-goal shooting, 46 percent free-throw shooting and 27 turnovers.
"We started doing things we're not supposed to do," Morgan State coach Darcel Estep said. "Turning the ball over as much as we did. Not boxing out and giving them second and third chances."
Kiesha Brooks led Coppin -- which had a 53-35 rebounding advantage -- with 16 points, 18 rebounds, five assists, two blocks and two steals.
"I just try to block out and work hard to accomplish my goals," said Brooks, a sophomore transfer from American. "In conference play, I was averaging 10, and in the MEAC, I thought it's my conference and my teammates expect me to do more."
Hungry for a win after four straight road losses, Coppin State gobbled up a 12-4 lead in the first five minutes.
But Coppin coach Jennie Hall needed to remind her team to consume carefully when the Eagles (2-4, 1-0) let the Bears (1-5, 0-2) close an eight-point lead to one as two free throws by Lisa Mickens made the score 14-13 with 12: 57 left in the first half.
"I had to tell the team that we were winning, to slow it down and make them play our tempo," Hall said.
Confident that the lead wasn't going anywhere, Coppin pulled away from Morgan State again, going on a 9-2 run for a 33-23 halftime lead. The closest the Bears got in the second half was 33-28 with 18: 54 left.
Coppin, careless with its first lead of the game, held on to this one. The nine second-half turnovers were well under the 16 it committed in the first half. The 11 offensive rebounds in the second half didn't hurt, either.
"We could not get over that eight-point hump," said Estep. "It is disappointing because it is the little things you learn when you are itty-bitty, playing basketball."
Pub Date: 12/13/98