Coppin forced to OT in holding off Morgan

Eagles lead by 14 at half, then have to sweat, 68-66

College Basketball

December 11, 2003|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

No matter how hard Morgan State tries, it can't seem to overcome Coppin State's domination in men's basketball.

The Bears gave Coppin plenty to handle last night, rallying from a 14-point halftime deficit to take the game into overtime, only to succumb again to the Eagles, 68-66, at the Coppin Center.

An overflow crowd for both teams' Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opener watched freshman Kelvin Green score nearly all the crucial points for Coppin, including a conventional three-point play and an inside basket with 16 seconds left in overtime to provide the final lead.

"We had no business letting them come back in the first place," said Green, who led all scorers with 25 points. "At the end, we needed a bucket and guys started looking for me down low. That shifted the pressure back to Morgan when I made it."

The victory was the 17th in Coppin's last 19 meetings with the Bears and gave Fang Mitchell a 31-5 lifetime record against Morgan. Overall, the Eagles lead the series 42-11.

"Morgan kept coming and coming," said Mitchell. "They overcame the big lead we had and didn't have any quit in them. It looked bleak for us at times, but the intensity came back after they took the lead."

Veteran Reggie Winkfield hit two huge three-pointers for Morgan (1-3, 0-1 MEAC), the second providing the Bears with a 66-65 edge with 45 seconds remaining in overtime.

Green traveled shortly thereafter, but Christopher Grant couldn't hit a free throw and Green came back at the other end with the game-winner.

After the game's initial sparring, during which there were seven lead changes, Coppin held the Bears to one basket over the final 8 1/2 minutes of the first half.

Aaron Andrews scored on a reverse layup off the break to give Morgan a 17-16 advantage. The Eagles then cranked up their defense, exploiting Morgan turnovers and poor shooting to surge ahead 33-19 at halftime.

Two free throws by Green had regained the lead for Coppin, Henry Colter sank a foul shot and Jimmy Boykin hit a three-pointer to start the surge.

Morgan's only success in the run came on a basket by Andrews off a breakaway, with Winkfield assisting.

When Raheem Scott converted a steal into another layup, the Eagles were up by 14.

The victory broke a four-game losing streak for Coppin (3-7, 1-0) in its only home game until Jan. 3.

"I think our size got to them a little in the end," said Mitchell.

The Bears, who shot 57.7 percent from the field in the second half, received 15 points from Andrews before he fouled out and 13 from Grant.

MORGAN STATE - Barrow 2-5 6-7 10, Winkfield 3-6, 2-2 11, Grant 6-10 1-2 13, Brand 0-5 0-0 0, Andrews 7-11 1-3 15, McLean 2-5 0-04, Terrell 1-2 0-0 2, Aujula 2-6 0-2 6, Berkley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-54 11-19 66.

COPPIN STATE - Yates 2-6 1-2 5, Bradley 1-1 0-0 2, King 3-11 5-7 12, Boykin 6-14 2-2 17, Scott 1-7 0-3 2, Otis 0-1 0-0 0, Muhammad 0-1 0-0 0, Green 7-11 10-12 25, Colter 2-3 1-2 5. Totals 22-55 19-28 68.

Half: Coppin, 33-19. 3-Point goals-Morgan 5-22 (Winkfield 3-5, Aujula 2-6, Barrow 0-1, Grant 0-2, Brand 0-4, McLean 0-3, Terrell 0-1), Coppin 5-18 (Boykin 3-8, Green 1-1, King 1-4, Scott 0-3, Otis 0-1, Muhammad 0-1). Fouled out-Brand, Andrews. Rebounds-Morgan 29 (Grant 7), Coppin 34 (Boykin 6). Assists-Morgan 13 (Barrow 6), Coppin 10 (Yates, King Green 2). Total fouls-Morgan 29, Coppin 17. Technicals-Morgan-McLean. A-N/A.

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