Coppin women capture 10th in past 12 at UMES' expense

Hot-shooting Eagles roll to 78-61 win over Hawks

February 29, 2004|By Christian Ewell | Christian Ewell,SUN STAFF

Perhaps under other circumstances - a road game, a slump, a less pivotal stretch of the season - the Coppin State women's basketball team would have been susceptible to squandering the lead it built early last night against Maryland-Eastern Shore.

But none of those entered the mix during the Eagles' 78-61 cruiser over the Hawks, and Coppin won its 10th in 12 games as it tries to keep pace with Hampton for the second seed in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament that starts March 8. Delaware State is in first place at 13-3 in the league.

With the hot shooting of Sherrie Tucker and Leisel Harry - 24 and 15 points, respectively - Coppin (16-10, 12-5 MEAC) opened the game with baskets on its first six possessions en route to a 21-point lead. That put the team out of harm's way against a UMES team (10-16, 5-12) that shot 19 percent from the field in the first half while suffering its second straight defeat after winning four in a row.

"This was one of the few games this season where I was just totally pleased," said Coppin coach Derek Brown, "in terms of effort, in terms of offensive output and defensive output."

The Eagles honored senior Antoinette Reese before her final home game, and she finished with 11 rebounds, six assists and three steals. But it was Tucker and Harry who took center stage once the game started.

When her drive to the basket put the team up 21-5 at the 10:50 mark, Tucker already had 13 points, and only foul trouble put her on the bench for much of the remainder of the half.

"I couldn't really do anything about it," Tucker said, "but I was real upset, because I was on fire."

Up to that point, the rest of the points had come from Harry, who came into the game averaging 16 points and 12 rebounds over the previous 11 games. Harry also finished with 11 rebounds.

In contrast, the Hawks missed 17 of their first 20 field-goal attempts. UMES' turnover problem only compounded the issue, with Coppin benefiting from 12 takeaways while taking a 39-20 lead at the break.

For the Eagles, whose lead grew to 25 points in the second half, Courtni Strickland and Talia Sutton had 15 and 10 points, respectively.

Erica Bennett led the Hawks with 14 points, and Tiffany Winkfield had 14 rebounds.

UMES-Bennett 4-10 5-8 14, Cheatham 1-1 2-4 4, Winkfield 3-8 3-8 9, Hatcher 1-9 2-2 4, Griffith 0-1 0-0 0, Thompson 1-6 0-0 3, Okaro 2-4 3-5 7, Gooden 2-4 2-3 7, Martin 0-2 0-0 0, Tucker 1-4 1-3 4, Bailey 3-15 3-3 9. Totals 18-64 21-36 61. COPPIN STATE-Harry 7-11 1-2 15, Lewis 0-3 0-0 0, Sutton 3-7 4-5 10, Reese 1-10 0-0 3, Tucker 8-12 7-9 24, Middleton 0-1 0-0 0, Boyd 1-7 1-3 4, Strickland 5-9 5-5 15, Armstrong 3-5 1-2 7, Wilder 0-1 0-0 0, Jefferson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-67 19-26 78. Half: Coppin State, 39-20. 3-point goals-UMES 4-14 (Bennett 1-3, Hatcher 0-2, Thompson 1-3, Gooden 1-2, Martin 0-2, Tucker 1-1, Bailey 0-1), Coppin State 3-8 (Reese 1-3, Tucker 1-1, Middleton 0-1, Boyd 1-3). Fouled out-none. Rebounds-UMES 45 (Winkfield 14), Coppin State 56 (Harry, Reese 11). Assists-UMES 4 (Bennett, Cheatham, Winkfield, Gooden), Coppin State 12 (Reese 6). Total fouls-UMES 20, Coppin State 29. A-675.

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