Brown's late shot carries Coppin

Eagles win in 2 OTs, 81-80, grab first place in MEAC

January 23, 2000|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Joe Brown is known as "The Magician" around the Coppin State basketball team.

Last night, Brown pulled two points out of his hat with a buzzer-beating 8-footer that lifted Coppin State to an 81-80 double-overtime victory over Hampton University in a tense battle for first place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

The Eagles and Pirates fought and scratched for every point, entertaining a crowd of 917.

Coppin State (6-11, 6-2) moved past Hampton (7-8, 5-2) into first place. South Carolina State remained at 5-2 in the league and is tied with Hampton for second.

Brown's game-winner came off a length-of-the-court inbounds pass from Michael Poster, who got the call from coach Fang Mitchell to inbound the ball with just two seconds on the clock.

Poster was a high school quarterback and played football at North Dakota State before transferring to Coppin State.

Brown made a leaping catch near the baseline, turned to his right and then took one dribble before letting a looping shot fly that went swishing through the basket right before the buzzer sounded.

"That's my shot," said Brown, who is in his first year at Coppin State after transferring from Hofstra.

"I knew Michael would get the ball to me and I just had to catch it and do what I do best. It's the first time I've ever won a college game like this and it's a great feeling.

"There were some negative things said about me when I left Hofstra and it's good to win a game like this."

Brown finished with 23 points in a streaky performance. He scored eight points in the first 7: 19 of the game and nine points in the first 6: 52 of the second half.

Coppin State point guard Jorge Cajigas missed a forced jumper at the end of regulation but bounced back to hit a buzzer-beating follow to tie the game at 75 at the end of the first overtime.

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