Coppin State women struggle early, but recover to rout Morgan State, 86-60

December 11, 2003|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Coppin State women's basketball team looked nervous in the first several minutes of last night's home opener against Morgan State. But the Eagles had little trouble once they relaxed, rolling to an 86-60 victory in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opener for both schools at the Coppin Center.

Coppin State (3-3, 1-0) struggled and made a number of mistakes early but eventually dominated the final 25 minutes. The Eagles held a 55-27 edge in rebounding - with 26 offensive rebounds - and also recorded a 72-45 advantage in shots.

The Eagles forced 29 turnovers and made 14 steals, constantly disrupting the Bears' offense.

Six Coppin State players scored in double figures, led by Antoinette Reese (16 points) and Sherrie Tucker (15 points), as the Eagles repeatedly found high-percentage shots.

LaKesha Wills and Leisel Harry each had a double double, helping the Eagles dominate down low. Wills had 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Harry added 11 points and 13 rebounds.

"It just took a while to get the jitters out," Coppin State coach Derek Brown said. "Once we got past that, we were fine."

The biggest part came over a 10-minute period starting late in the first half with the Eagles clinging to a 32-30 lead with just under four minutes left.

Coppin State's defense began forcing turnovers that it repeatedly converted into easy points en route to a 26-6 run as the Eagles took a 58-36 lead with 14:29 remaining.

"We've been having problems getting started," Reese said. "We got some steals, and that got us going."

Morgan State (0-6, 0-1) continued to have problems on offense.

The Bears have lost 24 straight games dating to last season. They've also dropped 29 consecutive MEAC games - plus seven in a row to Coppin State.

MORGAN STATE - Vargas 4-5 6-11 14, Watson 3-9 7-7 13, Johnson 5-11 2-2 13, Coleman 4-11 4-7 12, Holmes 0-2 1-2 1, Robinson 1-3 2-4 4, Gaskns 0-1 0-0 0, Williams 1-2 0-0 2, Henry 0-0 1-2 1, Jones 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-45 23-35 60.

COPPIN STATE - Harry 5-12 1-4 11, Plain 2-5 7-8 11, Reese 5-12 6-8 16, Wills 4-25 3-4 11, Tucker 7-13 1-4 15, Lewis 1-2 1-4 3, Strickland 1-1 1-2 3, Williams 6-11 2-3 14, Jefferson 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 32-72 22-37 86.

Half: Coppin, 46-33. 3-point goals - Morgan 1-5 (Johnson 1-1, Coleman 0-1, Watson 0-3), Coppin 0-2 (Reese 0-2). Fouled out - None. Rebounds - Morgan 27 (Vargas 9), Coppin 55 (Wills 13). Assists - Morgan 8 (Johnson 3), Coppin 19 (Reese 4). Total fouls - MS 27, CS 27. A - 951.

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