Coppin earns win over Morgan in double OT, 68-65

Eagles knock off Bears for third time this season, move to MEAC semifinals

College Basketball

March 11, 2004|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

RICHMOND, Va. - The Battle of Baltimore moved southward last night and became a four-star thriller at the Richmond Coliseum.

Coppin State overcame an eight-point deficit in the final five minutes of regulation, then outlasted a plucky Morgan State team, 68-65, in double overtime to advance to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament semifinals tomorrow night.

It was Coppin's third victory over the Bears this season, and each time the Eagles scored 68 points. The Eagles won, 68-66, in overtime in December at Coppin, and won, 68-60, at Morgan last Friday.

"We knew this would be a tough game for us. We just moved a crosstown rivalry to Virginia," Coppin coach Fang Mitchell said. "I don't think we were ready to play at the level they came at us, but we showed a lot of character down the stretch."

Morgan (11-16) was in command throughout regulation and led 49-41 with 4:40 to go.

But two clutch three-pointers by Raheem Scott and one by a struggling Jimmy Boykin carried the Eagles into a 52-52 tie, and they finally shook Morgan in the second overtime, with Scott (game-high 18 points) igniting the surge with another three-pointer.

The Bears trailed by two with the clock ticking down in the second overtime when Cedrick Barrow (team-high 16 points) lofted a three-pointer that bounded off the rim, ending Morgan's hopes of an upset.

"It hurts to lose," said Morgan senior Aaron Andrews, who acted as the team's only spokesman after the game. "But we can't be too mad because we left everything out there. They made plays down the stretch, and I think we got too comfortable with the lead."

Coppin (17-13) has won nine of its past 10 games against MEAC opponents, but it will be without outstanding freshman Kelvin Green (17 points), a Seven-Day Adventist, tomorrow and Saturday if the Eagles make the final.

"I think this game shows how we're a team," said Boykin, Coppin's all-MEAC swingman. "We were able to stick together. If we had broke up, we'd have lost this one."

The Eagles' vaunted defense also came to the front, holding the Bears to 33 percent in the overtimes and 38.7 percent for the game. That helped compensate for Coppin's poor shooting (31.3 percent).

"It was just straight on, man-on-man," said Mitchell. "It was time to stop some people."

Morgan was eliminated in double overtime for the second straight season in the MEAC tournament. The Bears lost to Bethune-Cookman, 104-103, last year in the play-in round.

Coppin has lost just once to Morgan in the MEAC tournament. That game was one of the biggest upsets in league history when the No. 8 seed Bears knocked off the Eagles, 61-60, after Coppin had gone undefeated in the regular season in conference play in 1994.

Boykin finished with 13 points last night, despite shooting 3-for-17 from the field. Nicholas King had a double double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

MORGAN STATE - Barrow 2-8 10-11 16, Timus 3-6 0-3 6, Grant 3-7 2-4 9, Brand 2-9 0-0 6, Andrews 6-6 3-5 15, Winkfield 2-6 0-0 5, Mclean 0-1 2-2 2, Terrell 0-0 0-0 0, Evans 0-1 0-0 0, Lawler 0-1 2-2 2, Aujla 0-2 2-2 2, Berkley 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 19-49 21-29 65.

COPPIN STATE - Yates 0-1 0-0 0, King 3-8 4-4 12, Boykin 3-17 6-6 13, Scott 6-11 3-5 18, Colter 0-2 1-4 1, Otis 0-2 0-0 0, Muhammad 0-5 0-0 0, Bradley 0-0 1-2 1, Jones 3-8 0-0 6, Green 6-13 4-5 17. Totals 21-67 19-26 68. Half-Morgan State, 31-27. 3-point goals-Morgan St. 6-20 (Barrow 2-3, Brand 2-7, Grant 1-3, Winkfield 1-4, Mclean 0-1, Aujla 0-2), Coppin St. 7-25 (Scott 3-5, King 2-4 Green 1-5, Boykin 1-7, Muhammad 0-1, Otis 0-1, Jones 0-2). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Morgan St. 41 (Andrews 7, Timus 7), Coppin St. 46 (King 10). Assists-Morgan St. 11 (Grant 5), Coppin St. 11 (Boykin 3). Total fouls-Morgan St. 19, Coppin St. 20. Technicals-Morgan St. team. A-N/A.

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