Coppin women fall in quarterfinals, 68-45

Del. State gets untracked, rolls to ninth straight win

March 13, 2003|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

RICHMOND, Va. - Delaware State's women were a tad stale yesterday after a nine-day layoff, but it didn't take long for them to refresh themselves.

With the aid of their vaunted pressure defense and notable contributions from the bench, the second-seeded Lady Hornets pulled away from Coppin State in the final 12 minutes and romped to a 68-45 victory in the quarterfinals of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament at the Richmond Coliseum.

It was the ninth straight win for Delaware State (19-9), which set a school record for MEAC victories (17) and beat Coppin for the third time.

"They didn't finish in second place for no reason," said Lady Eagles coach Derek Brown. "We were psyched and they were a little rusty, but once they got it together, they were very strong."

Using the high-low post offense that had carried Coppin past gritty North Carolina A&T on Monday, the Lady Eagles rode the hot scoring of LaKesha Wills (Dunbar) to an early 18-8 lead. Wills had 14 points during the surge, including 12 straight.

Despite troubles handling the ball, Coppin fended off the first challenge to retain the lead (24-20) before the Lady Hornets scored the final seven points of the first half while Coppin committed four turnovers.

Neither side scored for the first four minutes of the second half before Ashley Ethridge came off the Delaware State bench and began driving with determination through the lane for layups.

"It was mostly a matchup thing," Ethridge said. "Their guards were kind of slow on their feet and once I got on through, I just kept going."

Gradually, Delaware State pulled away while the Lady Eagles' shooting got progressively worse. Coppin (11-18) missed 13 shots in one stretch. When it ended, Delaware State had a 57-40 cushion.

Coppin made just nine of 33 second-half shots and finished with 22 turnovers, nine of them steals by the Lady Hornets.

"We stood around an awful lot when we should have been moving," Brown said. "And we looked to pass a little too late. We were sluggish with the ball."

COPPIN STATE-Plain 0-0 2-4 2, Singleterry 1-9 0-0 3, Wills 9-15 3-3 21, Tucker 2-10 0-2 4, Harry 2-7 0-0 4, Strickland 0-1 0-0 0, Williams 4-6 3-4 11. Totals 18-48 8-13 45. DELAWARE STATE-Clark 6-15 1-1 15, Waller 2-9 5-8 9, Smith 2-4 2-4 6, Nugent 3-5 0-0 6, Dabney 1-2 0-0 2, Griffin 1-2 00- 2, Jones 1-3 1-2 3, McCullough 0-1 2-2 2, Ethridge 5-7 2-2 12, Lockhart 0-0 0-1 0, Faunteroy 4-10 3-3 11. Totals 25-58 16-23 68. Halftime-Delaware State, 27-24. 3-point goals-CS 1-5 (Singleterry 1-4, Wills 0-1); DS 2-14 (Clark 2-8, Griffin 0-1, Faunteroy, Waller 0-4). Rebounds-CS 37 (Wills 8); DS 32 (Faunteroy 7). Assists-CS 11 (Plain 5); DS 12 (Clark 5). Total fouls-CS 20; DS 15. A-N/A.

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