Coppin forced to OT in holding off Morgan

Eagles lead by 14 at half, but barely hang on, 68-66

College Basketball

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

Coppin State fought off a determined rally by Morgan State last night to record a 68-66 overtime victory in their Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opener at the Coppin Center.

Before an overflow crowd that had the opposing fan sections chanting across the gymnasium at each other, the Eagles broke a four-game losing streak and beat the Bears for the 17th time in their last 19 meetings.

Two free throws by freshman Kelvin Green finally decided this city rivalry after Morgan had wiped out a 14-point halftime deficit to grab six different slim leads before Green hit a driving layup for Coppin to tie the game at 58 and send it into overtime.

After the game's initial sparring, during which there were seven lead changes, Coppin held the Bears to one basket over the final 81/2 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 freshman Kelvin Green regained the lead for Coppin, Henry Colter sank a foul shot and Jimmy Boykin hit a three-pointer to start the surge.

Boykin scored again on a reverse layup following a steal and Nicholas King followed with a three-point shot and two free throws around a Darren Bradley basket, swelling the margin to 31-19. Morgan's only success in the run came on a basket by Andrews off a breakaway, with Reggie Winkfield assisting.

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

The contest marked the only home game for Coppin until Jan. 3, when Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play resumes. The Eagles played 11 of their first 12 on the road.

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