Coppin dealt 15th straight loss

Howard uses 3-pointers to overwhelm, then sweep slow-starting Eagles, 88-72

February 12, 2002|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Howard University lit up the Coppin Center early last night with three after three after three and, in the process, kept the short-handed host Eagles down.

Unable to recover from the three-point barrage that featured six of eight in the opening five minutes from the Bison, the Eagles lost for the 15th straight time, an 88-72 setback that dropped them to a 3-22 overall record.

Coppin came out in a zone defense and Howard came out on fire, building a 21-2 lead behind four three-pointers from junior guard Kyle Williams, and two from fellow junior Ron Williamson.

Williams, in particular, was far from through, finishing with a school-record 43 points on 8-for-10 shooting from behind the three-point line. The Bison, still smarting from a 66-64 loss at Morgan State on Saturday, improved to 13-10 overall and 8-5 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

It's the first time Howard has swept a season series from the Eagles since the 1991-92 season. The Bison beat Coppin, 84-67, on Jan. 7 in Washington.

"I don't know if it was exploiting the zone or the fact that we just had breakdowns at the beginning. Any time you see uncontested shots with nobody around - somebody was supposed to be there and that just created a problem from the beginning along with our turnovers," said Coppin State coach Fang Mitchell.

"They got off to a pretty good lead and that forced us to change the way we play the game because we had to become more of a man-to-man team, and that's not our forte."

The Eagles (1-13 MEAC) had to rely on guard/forward Drew Cagle at the point guard position after their second point guard, freshman Robert Smith, went down with an ankle injury in Saturday's 67-65 loss to Delaware State. Senior Rasheem Sims has missed 17 games with a broken foot.

The home team settled in after the slow start, pounding the ball inside and getting to the free-throw line to cut the Howard lead to 39-32 behind senior forward Larry Tucker, who finished with a team-high 24 points.

But the Bison got a pair of free throws from sophomore center Ron Miller and a jumper from Williams to take a 43-32 halftime lead and then scored the first six points of the second half to totally restore order.

"It's a situation where we've been getting off to slow starts all year - it seems like we don't start to play until we're down by about 17 or 18 points. I never gave up," said Tucker. "Then what's been happening the last three or four games, we fight to get back in the games and then it's another slow start in the second half."

HOWARD-Kennedy 3-4 0-0 6, Thomas 3-8 2-3 8, Williams 14-21 7-9 43, Goodrich 1-4 0-2 0-0 2, Williamson 3-7 1-3 10, Stokes 2-3 0-0 5, Jackson 0-0 0-0 0, Grove 1-1 0-0 2, Radford 0-0 0-0 0, Aluko 3-3 4-4 10, Terry 0-0 0-0 0, Miller 0-1 2-2 2. Totals 30-52 16-21 88.

COPPIN STATE-Tucker 6-10 12-14 24, Boykin 6-17 2-3 19, Colter 0-2 0-0 0, Ferreia 3-7 2-2 8, Cagle 2-4 1-1 5, Shortt 0-0 0-0 0, Poster 1-1 1-3 3, Huff 6-13 1-4 13, Wright 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 24-54 19-29 72.

Halftime-Howard 43, Coppin St. 32. 3-Point goals-Howard 12-19 (Kennedy 0-1, Williams 8-10, Goodrich 0-2, Williamson 3-5, Stokes 1-1), Coppin St. 5-16 (Boykin 5-13, Colter 0-1, Ferreris 0-1, Cagle 0-1). Fouled out-Kennedy, Poster. Rebounds-Howard 30 (Thomas 8), Coppin St. 28 (Huff 9). Assists-Howard 15 (Goodrich 6), Coppin St. 8 (Boykin 3). Total fouls-Howard 24, Coppin St. 18.

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