Coppin's defense stops Del. State

Eagles step up in 2nd half, end 3-game skid, 54-46

January 19, 2003|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Coppin State coach Fang Mitchell always preaches the importance of defense and patience, and the Eagles showed plenty of both in last night's 54-46 victory over Delaware State at the Coppin Center.

The Eagles showed why they're the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference's top defensive team and hold foes to 61.9 points a game. Coppin State (3-12, 3-3) has limited teams to 68 points or less in 14 of its 15 games.

In breaking a three-game losing streak, Coppin State used mostly zone defenses to slow Delaware State (5-8, 3-2) and the three-point shooting the Hornets love. Delaware State shot only 37 percent from the field (17-for-46) as Coppin State held the Hornets to four baskets during a 21-minute stretch.

"They made us take tough shots from their zone," Delaware State forward Matt Kauderer said. "The zone forced us to shoot from the outside, and we didn't make our shots."

Mitchell said his team played solid basketball at both ends and needs to continue this way since it lacks depth.

"That's the way we're going to have to be if we're going to be successful," Mitchell said. "We've been basically patient all year ... and we've been preaching defense all year."

Deke Thompson had a game-high 18 points and sparked Coppin State's 13-2 second-half run that gave the Eagles a 45-37 lead with 7:01 left. Thompson went 7-for-9 from the field.

"We know that teams hate to play defense," Thompson said. "We want to make them play defense a little longer."

Larry Tucker is the team's top scorer and had only six points, but all seven players contributed. Jimmy Boykin came off the bench to score 11 points. Guard Raheem Scott had six points, six rebounds and five assists and made four free throws in the final 28 seconds to seal the victory.

Tyson Lesesne led Delaware State with 11 points, and Kauderer added 10, but neither scored in the second half. The Hornets appeared to miss the inside presence of center Aaron Matthews, out with a broken arm.

The Hornets made only seven baskets in the second half as Coppin State clamped down and took command.

"We pride ourselves on defense," Thompson said. "Teamwork and poise, that's what we're all about."

DELAWARE STATE-Hunter 2-7 0-0 4, Davis 1-5 2-2 5, Bowen 2-9 4-5 8, Mathews 4-10 0-0 8, Kauderer 4-5 0-2 10, Lesesne 4-7 0-0 11, Moore 0-0 0-0 0, Parker 0-1 0-0 0, Gantt 0-2 0-0 0, Toth 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-46 6-9 46. COPPIN STATE-Muhammad 1-2 1-1 3, Thompson 7-9 3-3 18, Tucker 3-8 0-0 6, Scott 1-5 4-4 6, Colter 3-76 0-0 6, Jones 2-3 0-0 4, Boykin 4-8 1-2 11. Totals 21-41 9-10 54. Half: Coppin State, 28-27. 3-point goals: DS 6-24 (Lesesne 3-6, Kauderer 2-3, Davis 1-5, Hunter 0-1, Matthews 0-4, Bowen 0-5); CS 3-7 (Boykin 2-3, Thompson 1-2, Muhammad 0-1, Scott 0-1). Rebounds: DS 23 (Gant, Kauderer, Lesesne, Matthews 4); CS 26 (Colter 7). Assists: DS 6 (Davis 3); CS 9 (Scott 5). Total fouls: DS 15, CS 11. A: 613.

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