Time runs out on Morgan comeback

King's tying attempt too late in 68-66 loss

Coppin's Poster gets 18

November 25, 2001|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

For Morgan State, a new season, new coach and an influx of new players couldn't reverse an old trend last night against rival Coppin State.

Randy Dukes' 20-footer with two seconds left bounced off the front of the rim, and Curtis King's follow-up jumper, apparently tying the game, was ruled after the buzzer, as the Eagles held on for a 68-66 win in the Harbor City Basketball Classic before 3,615 at the Baltimore Arena.

"I think it was good," said Morgan's first-year coach, Butch Beard, of King's fall-away effort, which propelled the Bears' bench into a premature celebration. "[The referees] felt differently, so therefore we walk away with a loss. I thought we played hard enough and well enough to win. We just didn't get a break."

"If it went in [legally], then they deserved to win," Coppin coach Fang Mitchell said. "We were determined, but we were also fortunate to get the W."

It was Coppin's fourth straight win over Morgan, and 13th of the past 15 games.

Michael Poster led Coppin (2-1 overall, 1-0 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) with 18 points, including three of his team's 10 three-pointers. It was Poster's shot clock-beating three with 3:41 left that gave the Eagles a 64-62 lead, which they would never relinquish. The shot keyed a 10-2 Coppin run that turned a 62-58 deficit into a 68-64 lead.

"When it came down to win time, our guys were there," Mitchell said.

Morgan (0-2 overall, 0-1 MEAC)had gotten back into the game courtesy of an early second-half spurt by Dukes, who scored the first eight points of the half to give Morgan (0-2, 0-1) a 40-38 lead.

Point guard Robert Smith added 17 for the Eagles, who shot just 30 percent in the second half after their hot shooting maintained the lead early.

"I don't think it was so much their defense," Poster said. "We were getting open looks, and we were probably just a little anxious to put it up."

Forward Curtis King led the Bears with 13, all in the second half. He played just five minutes in the first half before picking up his second foul.

Coppin, picked by coaches and sports information directors to finish fourth in the 11-team MEAC, lived up to that billing in the early minutes, using its inside height advantage to dominate in the paint.

After Morgan's Reggie Winkfield hit a three-pointer to start the game, the Eagles reeled off 12 straight points, including six on two three-pointers by Rasheem Sims, to take a 12-3 lead after the first 6:23. Coppin held the Bears without a field goal for 10 straight possessions during the run.

Trailing 19-16, the Eagles then regained command when Jimmy Boykin, Poster and Smith nailed consecutive three-pointers, part of a 13-2 run that put Coppin ahead 29-21 with 3:58 left in the half.

Coppin led 38-32 at halftime, connecting on 6 of 8 three-pointers and out-rebounding Morgan 23-9.

"It's just one of those type games," Mitchell said. "No matter what their record is and what anybody has, it's just going to be a tough, hard-fought game, and it wasn't any different tonight."

COPPIN STATE-Thomas 1-3 0-1 2, Tucker 2-10 1-1 5, Colter 2-5 0-0 4, Sims 2-6 1-2 7, Boykin 6-16 0-0 14, Smith 6-9 2-2 17, Poster 6-10 3-3 18, Huff 0-3 1-2 1. Totals 25-62 8-11 68. MORGAN STATE-Winkfield 2-6 0-0 6, King 6-9 1-1 13, Reece 2-3 0-0 4, Barrow 4-6 1-2 10, Dukes 5-11 1-1 12, Grady 0-3 0-0 0, McNeill 3-5 1-2 8, Snipes 2-4 0-0 8, Andrews 0-3 0-0 0, Ward 0-0 0-0 0, Sims 1-4 6-6 8. Totals 25-54 10-12 66. Halftime-Coppin State 38-32. 3-point goals-Coppin State 10-24 (Sims 2-5, Boykin 2-9, Smith 3-5, Poster 3-5); Morgan State 6-14 (Winkfield 2-6, Barrow 1-1, Dukes 1-1, Grady 0-2, McNeil 1-2, Snipes 1-2). Fouled out-none. Rebounds-Coppin State 42 (Poster 8); Morgan State 28 (King 6). Assists-Coppin State 16 (Sims 5); Morgan State 14 (Barrow 5). Total fouls-Coppin State 13; Morgan State 15. A-3,615.

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