Terps women too strong for Coppin in 84-56 win

But score doesn't indicate battle Eagles give UM

College Basketball

November 17, 2001|By Kevin Eck | Kevin Eck,SUN STAFF

Maryland women's basketball coach Chris Weller wishes her team would have played harder and smarter at times in its season-opener against Coppin State last night.

Still, the No. 23 Terps had too much talent and depth for the Eagles, rolling to an 84-56 victory at Cole Field House.

Freshman guard Anesia Smith came off the bench to score a game-high 17 points for Maryland, and sophomore guard Vicki Brick, playing in her first game after missing all of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, added 13 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals.

Eight players scored at least seven points for the Terps.

Shannon Muir scored 16 to lead Coppin (0-1).

"It's the first game of the season, and that's where you find out all the different things you have to work on," Weller said. "I want us to do a better job of staying out of foul trouble, and I think we were in the air too much."

The Eagles, picked to finish eighth in the 11-team Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, pushed the Terps despite the lopsided final score. Coppin, which lost to Maryland by 31 last season and is now 0-7 in the all-time series, made the Terps work hard at both ends of the court.

"Coppin State was tough throughout the game," Weller said. "I was impressed by their aggressiveness. I think they're a better team than a lot of people give them credit for being."

Said Coppin coach Derek Brown: "We made them work a lot harder than we did last year. I think that's positive for us. We just put them on the foul line too many times."

And the Terps took advantage of those opportunities, converting 28 of 38 foul shots. Coppin, conversely, was just 7-for-15 from the line.

Maryland's pressure defense seemed to wear down the Eagles during the course of the game. The Terps forced Coppin to commit 31 turnovers, and they outscored the Eagles, 16-4, in fast-break points.

In the first half, however, the Terps had a tough time building a comfortable lead over feisty Coppin. Every time Maryland started to pull away, the Eagles refused to wilt.

Coppin scored five points in the first 1:37 of the game, then went the next 6:12 without a point. Maryland's 9-0 run in that span gave it a 12-5 lead.

The Eagles rebounded from their drought, and later pulled within 19-15 on Muir's baseline jumper with 9:20 remaining in the first half. The Terps, though, answered with another 9-0 spurt, taking a 28-15 lead on Jamecca Harrell's short jumper with 7:28 left.

Coppin wasn't finished, however. The Eagles went on a 12-4 run, pulling to 32-27 with 5:02 left on a basket by Antoinette Reese.

Not at all pleased by her team's play, Weller called a timeout to regroup. Immediately after play resumed, Terri Daniels (St. Mary's) hit a three-pointer to ignite a 12-1 run before halftime.

The Eagles reduced their deficit to 11early in the second half, but that was as close as they would get. Maryland's biggest lead was the final score.

Rosita Melbourne added 10 points for the Terps.

Jackie Johnson-Stewart scored nine for Coppin, and freshman LaKesha Wills (Dunbar) contributed seven.

COPPIN STATE-Reese 1-10 2-2 5, Wills 3-10 0-0 7, Johnson-Stewart 4-5 1-4 9, Plain 2-3 0-0 5, White 1-4 3-7 5, Lewis 0-0 0-0 0, Williams 2-3 0-0 4, Strickland 0-1 1-2 1, Singleterry 0-2 0-0 0, Waugh 0-0 0-0 0, Muir 7-12 0-0 16, Harry 2-5 0-0 4. Totals 22-55 7-15 56. MARYLAND-Razor 3-5 3-4 9, Warley 1-2 6-9 8, Harrell 3-6 1-2 7, Brick 4-4 5-6 13, Strickland 3-10 1-1 7, Daniels 1-5 4-6 7, Deng 0-0 0-0 0, Jackson 0 0-0 0, Washington 1-1 3-4 5, Agba 0-0 1-2 1, Smith 6-20 4-4 17, Melbourne 5-10 0-0 10. Totals 27-53 28-38 84. Half-Maryland, 44-28. 3-point goals-Coppin State 5-10 (Reese 1-4, Wills 1-1, Plain 1-1. Singleterry 0-1, Muir 2-3), Maryland 2-5 (Strickland 0-2, Daniels 1-1, Smith 1-2). Fouled out-none. Rebounds-Coppin State 26 (Wills 5), Maryland 39 (Brick 6). Assists-Coppin State 14 (Reese 5), Maryland 11 (Brick 5). Total fouls-Coppin State 26, Maryland 17. A-1,291.

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