Coppin stumbles at finish, falls at home to Hampton

Eagles' late errors costly in 61-60 conference loss

January 09, 2001|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

Coppin State was on the verge of ending its losing streak and pulling off a notable upset last night before nothing went right in the final two minutes and Hampton rallied for a 61-60 victory at the Coppin Center.

With coach Fang Mitchell banished from the floor after drawing two early technical fouls, the Eagles offered stiff resistance to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference's preseason favorite and held a 60-57 lead on a follow shot by Terek Wright.

Then, the apparent victory got away, thanks in part to some crucial Eagles mistakes.

Tarvis Williams scored on a break to pull Hampton to 60-59, then Wright was whistled for a lane violation with teammate Joe Brown at the line and making a free throw. Instead of a two-point lead, the Eagles still led by one and surrendered the ball.

With 50 seconds remaining, guard Tommy Adams made two free throws for the Pirates to provide the winning points for a team that had been averaging 77.8 per game during an 8-3 start that had included road wins at Wichita State and Wisconsin-Green Bay.

Coppin (4-9, 2-3 MEAC) had two more opportunities, but Wright missed a jumper, and after Hampton's Adams couldn't convert the front end of a one-and-one free-throw chance, Brown's three-point attempt went wide and the clock expired before the Eagles could get another decent shot.

It was the seventh consecutive defeat for the Eagles, who are 0-4 at home, where they were practically invincible during the 1990s.

"This is the first time we've ever beaten them since we've been in Division I [after seven losses]," said Hampton coach Steve Merfeld. "We believe the championship of this conference goes through Coppin State. To be able to come in here and post an emotional win like this is very good for our program."

Marseilles Brown, with Williams a preseason All-MEAC choice, topped the Pirates (9-3, 4-1) with 18 points, and Williams had 17 while playing only 29 minutes because of foul trouble.

Assistant coach Jimmy DuBose, who directed the team in Mitchell's absence, said the "lane violation call didn't help, but basically we didn't take care of the ball well at the end. We slowed down and stopped attacking. And Joe didn't take a great shot in that situation. We have to go to the basket."

Coppin also went only 10-of-17 on free throws while losing its seventh straight game.

Mitchell was ejected 2 1/2 minutes into the game after vociferously arguing an official's call and then drawing technical fouls from two different officials.

"I didn't use any bad words or anything," said Mitchell. "I just said, `He still walked' [referring to a non-call against Hampton] and told the official if he didn't want me to be emotional, I don't want to be a coach. I guess I had to go."

HAMPTON - Davis 1-5 3-4 5, Williams 8-13 1-2 17, Brown 5-11 4-6 18, Jefferson 1-2 1-2 3, Adams 2-13 2-3 6, Howard 0-1 2-2 2, Didlake 0-0 0-1 0, Purvis 1-2 0-0 3, McNeal 0-1 3-4 3, Pitts 0-0 0-0 0, Howard 1-3 1-2 4. Totals 19-51 17-26 61.

COPPIN STATE - Poster 1-5 2-4 4, Tucker 6-15 3-5 15, Wright 5-10 0-0 10, Sims 4-6 0-0 10, Nieves 5-8 5-6 17, Thomas 1-4 0-2 2, Ruffin 0-0 0-0 0, Brown 1-9 0-0 2, Davis-McCrary 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-58 10-17 60. Halftime-Hampton 35-31. 3-point goals-H 6-19 (Davis 0-1, Brown 4-8, Adams 0-6, Purvis 1-2, Howard 1-2); CS 4-13 Poster 0-2, Tucker 0-2, Sims 2-3, Nieves 2-3, Brown 0-2, Davis-McCrary 0-1). Fouled out-Howard, Tucker. Rebounds-H 42 (Jefferson, Adams 8); CS 35 (Tucker 8). Assists-H 9 (Brown, Jefferson, Adams 2); CS 12 (Nieves 4). Total fouls-H 18, CS 19. A-748.

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