Another reign ends for Coppin

Bethune-Cookman breaks 24-game skid vs. Eagles

February 13, 2000|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

For 11 years and three days, Coppin State could count on dominion over Bethune-Cookman.

But the Wildcats calmly walked into the Coppin Center last night and beat Coppin, 66-60, to break a 24-game losing streak in the series that stretched back to an 82-81 overtime win on Feb. 9, 1989.

"It means a lot because for me and [senior Valder Ned], that's the team we hadn't beaten," Bethune-Cookman guard Freddie Cole said after scoring 14 points, which tied Ned for team-high honors.

With a win, the Eagles (9-14, 9-5 MEAC) could have moved into a tie for second place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and extended their three-game winning streak.

Eight Bethune players scored in the first half, as the Wildcats (10-11, 9-3) took a 33-24 lead. Over a period of 6: 59, the Wildcats outscored Coppin, 16-6, taking a 26-14 advantage when Freddie Cole hit a three-pointer at the 3: 51 mark.

Playing against one of the best defensive teams in the league, Coppin had trouble getting untracked on the offensive end. Its top threat -- Jorge Cajigas -- attempted only two field goals in the opening 20 minutes as the team managed to hit only 31 percent of its shots.

Joe Brown led the Eagles with 15 points and helped lead a charge as the team cut its deficit from 13 points to 62-55 on a pair of free throws from Cajigas. But the 10-1 run that produced that score came much too late to prevent the second end to a lengthy streak this year. Last month, Maryland-Eastern Shore broke a 28-game skid in its series with Coppin.

"This is no different than Eastern Shore," said Coppin State coach Fang Mitchell. "Teams keep knocking on the door, and they'll keep knocking until they find you weak talent-wise or emotionally. We didn't come out with any intensity from the start of the game."

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