S.C. State takes down Coppin

67-54 loss to Bulldogs follows Eagles' big win

January 07, 2003|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

With only three lettermen returning for this season's Coppin State men's basketball team, it figures that a young team would learn a few lessons this winter.

Facing South Carolina State last night, the host Eagles learned that their 27-point win over North Carolina A&T Saturday didn't mean much against the hot-shooting Bulldogs, who scored a 67-54 victory.

Coppin (2-10, 2-1 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference), looking to remain undefeated in the conference heading into a weekend road trip that includes a date with defending champion Hampton, produced a flat effort highlighted by a second-half stretch in which South Carolina State (4-7, 2-0) used a 16-0 run to take a 25-point lead.

Moses Malone Jr. and Thurman Zimmerman combined for 38 points and the Bulldogs shot 11-for-18 from three-point range against Coppin, two nights after struggling against a moribund Morgan State team.

Against a Bulldog team that marks the calendar for its trips to Coppin Center, "we felt like we needed to push it up another notch," Coppin assistant coach Francis Simmons said.

Instead, the Eagles left shooters open all night and got a combined 6-for-26 shooting night from their top scorers, Larry Tucker and Jimmy Boykin.

"I thought they were overconfident," Coppin coach Fang Mitchell said of his players. "They played selfish tonight, and that's something that we haven't done all year. For whatever reason, they came out that way tonight."

The Eagles fell into an early, 16-6 deficit before rallying to pull within 22-19 on a three-pointer by Henry Colter with 6:29 remaining in the first half.

Coppin then went the rest of the half without a basket, with seven quickly-taken shots and two turnovers before Deke Thompson ended the drought with a jumper at the buzzer. Thompson's basket pulled Coppin to 29-21 at halftime.

"We weren't focused. We allowed them to get us to do what they wanted to do," said Tucker, who came into the game averaging 13.3 points but finished with seven on 3-for-15 shooting.

To make matters worse for the Eagles, they may have lost one of their starters, Darron Bradley, who dislocated his left shoulder when he and Zimmerman dived for a ball.

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE-Heath 2-4 2-2 6, Gilmore 2-5 1-2 5, Braddick 2-3 0-0 5, Ramsey 2-3 0-0 5, Zimmerman 6-9 2-3 17, Malone 7-10 1-1 21, Jones 0-0 0-1 0, Seels 0-0 0-0 0, Judge 1-4 0-0 2, Braddick 3-4 0-0 6, Bell 0-0 0-0 0, Zachary 0-0 0-0 0, Trapp 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-42 6-9 67.

COPPIN STATE-Thompson 3-6 0-0 6, Bradley 1-1 0-0 2, Tucker 3-15 1-2 7, Boykin 3-11 0-0 8, Scott 4-4 1-1 9, Muhammad 1-4 0-0 2, Jones 4-8 5-5 13, Colter 3-6 0-0 7. Totals 22-55 7-8 54.

Half-S. Carolina St., 29-21. 3-point goals-S. Carolina St. 11-18 (Heath 0-2, Braddick 1-1, Ramsey 1-1, Zimmerman 3-4, Malone 6-8, Judge 0-2), Coppin St. 3-13 (Thompson 0-1, Boykin 2-9, Muhammad 0-1, Jones 0-1, Colter 1-1). Fouled out-none. Rebounds-S. Carolina St. 26 (Zimmerman 8), Coppin St. 26 (Colter 10). Assists-S. Carolina St. 8 (Heath 5), Coppin St. 6 (Scott 2). Total fouls-S. Carolina St. 13, Coppin St. 11. A-455.

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