Coppin gets better of Bethune-Cookman, 69-63

Boykin scores 24 points as Eagles go 3-0 in MEAC

College Basketball

January 06, 2004|By Matt Papuchis | Matt Papuchis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Bethune-Cookman might be wishing it never had made the trip to Baltimore from Daytona, Fla. Just two nights after it dropped a one-point decision at Morgan State, still-winless Bethune-Cookman dropped another one last night, as the Coppin State Eagles handled the visiting Wildcats, 69-63, before 315 at the Coppin Center.

"It was a tough game," said Eagles coach Fang Mitchell, who has a 33-5 record against Bethune-Cookman. "I'm still trying to get our guys to play for 40 minutes, but I'll take the 'W.'"

The Eagles (4-9, 3-0), who lead the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, got 24 points from Jimmy Boykin, and Kelvin Green added 12.

Bethune-Cookman (0-10, 0-2), which entered the game shooting 35 percent from the field and 26 percent from three-point range, managed to shoot 52 percent from beyond the arc, but struggled overall, making just 18 of its 53 shots.

"I think Coppin is probably the best team in the league," Wildcats coach Clifford Reed said. "Their tradition carries them through these types of games. When you play a Coppin State, there's no room for error."

Trailing 30-21 to start the second half, the Wildcats tried to make a game of it, virtually trading the Eagles basket for basket for the rest of the game and outscoring them 42-39 in the second.

After Pape Ba's slam-dunk started the game to give the Wildcats an early advantage, both teams had a hard time finding the basket and after seven minutes, the score was only 5-4 in favor of Coppin. The score was tied at 9-9 when the Eagles started to pull away, thanks to a pair of Bethune- Cookman fouls that helped Coppin go on a 10-0 run to take a 19-9 lead midway through the half.

The Wildcats managed to keep it close with a couple of three-pointers, but they were undone by errors. The Eagles capitalized by scoring seven of their 30 first-half points off Bethune-Cookman turnovers, and by the end of the opening period, Coppin was up by nine and led the rest of the way.

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