Coppin women control second half

win, 71-49

Pressure, inside game send Eagles past UMES

January 16, 2002|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

The halftime message from Coppin State women's basketball coach Derek Brown last night was to pick up the intensity and pound the ball inside.

Both points were well taken.

The Lady Eagles came out and scored on their first four possessions and continued on a 14-2 run that turned a five-point halftime lead into a comfortable 71-49 win over visiting UMES at the Coppin Center.

Sophomore forward LaKesha Wills led four Coppin players in double figures with 19 points and eight rebounds. Senior center Jackie Johnson-Stewart added 14 points, including the opening second-half basket inside that set the tone.

The Lady Eagles improved to 5-10 overall. Winners of two of their past three, they evened their mark in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference at 3-3.

It wasn't necessary to look far from the basket to find the telling statistic - Coppin outscored UMES 36-22 in the paint.

"Our philosophy was to play a solid game," said Brown. "A solid game meaning no stupid fouls, no errant passes, take good shots and play good, hard defense."

"Their guards stayed out with our guards on the perimeter, which left our forwards one-on-one inside and we got some spacing. Once we got the ball in there, they did some good things."

Leading 35-30 at the break, the Lady Eagles ran off eight straight points. First, Johnson-Stewart double-pumped and hit from inside, then Wills scored on a short turnaround after a feed from Jeaneen White; then White hit after an interior pass from Johnson-Stewart, and, finally, Stewart-Johnson scored after a pass from Shequra Dickerson.

The Lady Eagles never looked back. White, a freshman guard, finished with 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds and senior forward Shannon Muir added 11 points on 5-for-5 shooting from the field.

"Second half, we wanted to step up and keep playing hard," said Wills, a former Dunbar High standout. "It was a team thing. It's not one player on the team that we're counting on - it's a team effort and we try to get everyone involved. If we play our best and play together - win or lose - as long as we give all-out effort, we did a good job."

Brown was surprised and encouraged by the balance.

"This is what you want to see," he said. "LaKesha Wills is very nice down in the post area. She's very patient and has good footwork. Shannon Muir didn't miss a shot and she only played 17 minutes. Jackie really played a nice, tough game down there and Jeaneen White just being a freshman - she's a warrior."

The visiting Lady Hawks (6-9, 3-3), who got a team-high 15 points from guard Destiney Avent, one of only two seniors on the roster, trimmed an 18-point Coppin lead to 56-45 with 8:28 left, but never got closer.

UMES-Tucker 2-5 0-3 4, Franklin 2-10 0-0 5, Stephens 2-6 0-0 4, Thompson 4-9 3-3 13, Gooden 0-6 0-0 0, Knox 0-1 1-2 1, Plaesant 0-1 0-0 0, Avent 6-16 3-4 15, Blakey 0-3 0-0 0, Okaro 0-3 0-0 0, Miller 1-4 3-4 5, Daniels 0-2 2-2 2, Martin 0-3 0-0 0, Harrington 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 17-71 12-18 49.

COPPIN STATE-Wills 8-14 3-3 19, Muir 5-5 0-0 11, Johnson-Stewart 6-9 2-4 14, Plain 0-3 0-0 0, White 6-12 0-2 13, Lewis 0-1 1-2 1, Williams 1-2 0-0 2, Reese 1-5 0-0 2, Strickland 0-3 3-4 3, Dickerson 1-3 0-0 2, Singleterry 1-5 2-2 4, Waugh 0-1 0-0 0, Harry 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 29-64 11-17 71.

Halftime-Coppin State, 35-30. 3-point goals-UMES 3-15 (Thompson 2-4, Franklin 1-5, Tucker 0-1, Knox 0-1, Blakey 0-1 Martin 0-1, Gooden 0-2); Coppin State 2-8 (Muir 1-1, White 1-2, Plain 0-1, Williams 0-1, Reese 0-1, Strickland 0-1, Singleterry 0-1). Fouled out-none.

Rebounds-UMES 49 (Tucker 9); Coppin State 45 (White 9). Assists-UMES 1 (Pleasant); Coppin State 18 (Muir, White 4). Total fouls-UMES 13; Coppin State 20. A-317.

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