It takes Coppin 2 OTs to put away Loyola

76-68 consolation victory is Eagles' first in `Battle'

November 20, 2001|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

It took a game on a rival court, some missteps and recoveries and two overtimes, but Coppin State finally got its first victory in the Battle of Baltimore Classic last night.

The Eagles persevered and outlasted Loyola, 76-68, by sinking seven of eight foul shots in the final 90 seconds of the 50-minute consolation game at Reitz Arena.

Coppin (1-1) had lost twice in its first tournament appearance two years ago on its own court and was nudged by a last-second Towson shot in this year's semifinals Saturday night.

"I was wondering about this Battle thing and definitely understood we were on a foreign court," said Coppin coach Fang Mitchell. "It was a hard fight, and I was very happy with the way my guys just hung in there.

"We didn't play that well, but our defense kept us in the whole game."

Loyola (0-2) set a school record with 40 three-point attempts, but made only 10 and, in effect, its sub-par marksmanship was the difference. The Greyhounds shot 35.9 percent from the field overall and only 52.2 percent from the line.

The Eagles appeared en route to victory in regulation with a 56-50 lead with 1:12 left before a three-pointer by Damien Jenifer and an odd play closed Loyola to within one.

Rasheem Sims was dribbling around midcourt when he suddenly stopped and Lindbergh Chatman swiped the ball and scored a Loyola layup. "I heard a whistle," Sims said. "I don't know if it was somebody in the stands or what, but everybody else kept going."

Chatman followed seconds later with a three to put the Greyhounds ahead by two, but Coppin answered with a three-shot salvo climaxed by Michael Poster's tip-in that forced overtime.

Poster had a career-high 21 points off the bench to lead all scorers. "That's my role on this team. Coach Mitchell has been in this business a long time and he puts me in at the right time," Poster said.

The Eagles never trailed in the first overtime before Loyola forced another on a three-pointer by B.J. Davis that took a big bounce off a friendly rim and plopped through with four seconds left.

"The guy on me kind of hesitated, so I went ahead and shot it. It was pretty nice," Davis said of the carom that helped him lead Loyola with 19 points.

In the second overtime, Poster scored the first basket inside and Loyola was never closer than two thereafter. Sims sank four of the seven free throws that clinched it and finished with 16 points.

"It was a hard-fought game and one of a lot of runs," said Greyhounds coach Scott Hicks. "Both teams kept their poise well. Every time it looked like one would get away, the other came back."

Hicks said the 10-for-40 effort from long range was a little deceptive because of the game's length. "I don't think our shooting percentage reflects our potential," he said. "I thought our kids made some big ones."

The game marked the first meeting of the two schools since the 1976-77 season.

COPPIN STATE--Tucker 2-7 4-6 8, Boykin 2-11 0-0 5, Thomas 2-2 1-3 5, Colter 5-7 0-0 11, Sims 4-8 6-6 16, Poster 8-11 3-4 21, Huff 2-8 6-6 10. Totals 25-54 20-25 76.

LOYOLA--Allen 0-0 1-2 1, Nijaradze 3-3 2-6 8, Jordan 4-14 4-5 13, Jenifer 2-8 0-0 6, Davis 7-15 1-2 19, Chatman 3-11 1-2 9, Thomas 0-3 1-2 1, Koch 0-0 0-0 0, Dickey 1-3 0-0 3, Corrigan 1-1 2-4 4, Southall 2-3 0-0 4, Chivers 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 23-64 12-23 68.

Half--Coppin State, 32-29.

End of regulation--58-58. End of first overtime--63-63.

3-point goals--Coppin 6-19 (Boykin 1-9, Colter 1-1, Sims 2-5, Poster 2-4), Loyola 10-40 (Jordan 1-11, Jenifer 2-7, Davis 4-9, Chatman 2-8, Dickey 1-3, Chivers 0-2).

Rebounds--Coppin 44 (Tucker 11), Loyola 36 (Allen, Corrigan 5).

Assists--Coppin 16 (Poster 5),Loyola 14 (Jenifer 6).

Total fouls--Coppin 21, Loyola 24.

Fouled out--Huff, Davis.

Technical fouls--Coppin State bench. A--553.

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