59-50 win over Morgan gives Coppin push

Eagles earn `momentum' heading to MEAC tourney

19-0 spurt dooms Bears

College Basketball

March 09, 2003|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament schedule suggested that last night's Coppin State-Morgan State game meant little, but try telling that to the sellout crowd, which included Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, at the Coppin Center.

Coppin State wasn't exactly buying that theory, either.

Junior forward Jimmy Boykin poured in 19 points and freshman guard Deke Thompson added 17 more to lead the Eagles to a 59-50 victory over the Bears before 1,720 at a spirited Coppin Center.

"This game is one of the biggest games of the year," Boykin said. "We needed this win, and we needed this momentum going into the tournament."

The Eagles (11-16 overall, 11-7 MEAC) would have played Florida A&M regardless of last night's result on Thursday in the MEAC quarterfinals in Richmond, Va., but the victory clinched the fourth seed.

Meanwhile, the Bears (7-21, 6-12), who have beaten Coppin just 11 times in 52 career meetings, will be the eighth seed and face Bethune-Cookman in the play-in game Tuesday.

"They did a better job of playing their style," said Bears coach Butch Beard. "We like to get up and down, and if the game stayed in the 50s, they were going to win."

It took the Eagles all of six minutes to take control.

Trailing 11-8 at the 14-minute mark after a hoop by the Bears' Aaron Andrews, the Eagles engineered a 19-0 run to take a 27-11 lead with about 6 1/2 minutes remaining in the first half.

Much of the run, which Beard tried to stop on two different occasions with timeouts, came with Eagles' leading scorer Larry Tucker on the bench with two fouls. A Dunbar alum who was given a loud ovation in a pre-game ceremony on Senior Night, Tucker was quiet throughout. He scored seven points on 2-for-11 shooting before fouling out with 41 seconds left.

Boykin's imprints were all over the Eagles' first-half spurt. His three-pointer gave Coppin a 17-11 lead, which grew after Thompson knocked down a three on the next possession.

Another Boykin three, followed by a Thompson steal and layup, widened the margin to 27-11. The Bears missed several easy shots during the stretch. They finally broke an eight-minute scoreless period on a layup by Andrews, but that only cut the deficit to 14.

"We changed defenses, and I think that threw them off a little," said Coppin coach Fang Mitchell, whose team went to a 1-3-1 zone. "We created stop after stop and we were able to make a run."

With the Eagles shooting just 28.6 percent in the second half, Morgan had a couple of chances to trim into a 13-point halftime deficit.

Sam Brand (Poly) missed a three-pointer that would have cut Coppin's lead to nine with 12 minutes to play.

Chalk up everything after that to too little, too late for the Bears, whose lone bright spot was Andrews (18 points, 10 rebounds).

Morgan shot just 28.9 percent for the game, including 3-for-20 from three-point range. The Bears also committed a season-high 23 turnovers.

MORGAN STATE - Barrow 1-8 9-10 11, Brand 1-7 0-0 3, Dukes 3-15 2-2 10, Pellerin 0-1 4-4 4, Andrews 7-9 4-9 18, Timus 0-1 0-0 0, Sims 0-0 1-1 1, Snipes 0-0 1-2 1, Grandy 0-1 0-0 0, Davis 0-2 0-0 0, Patrick 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 13-45 21-28 50. COPPIN STATE - Thompson 5-12 6-6 17, Tucker 2-11 3-4 7, Boykin 8-17 0-0 19, Scott 0-3 2-3 2, Colter 2-3 0-1 4, Muhammad 0-0 0-2 0, Bradley 2-3 0-0 4, Jones 2-8 0-0 4, Mott 1-1 0-1 2. Totals 22-58 11-17 59. Half-Coppin State, 37-24. 3-point goals-Morgan State 3-20 (Barrow 0-4, Brand 1-7, Dukes 2-8, Davis 0-1), Coppin State 4-9 (Thompson 1-2, Boykin 3-7). Rebounds-Morgan State 40 (Andrews 10), Coppin State 36 (Scott 8). Assists-Morgan State 6 (Barrow 3), Coppin State 8 (Thompson, Scott, Jones 2). A-1,720.

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