Lady Eagles advance to semifinals

Coppin State 70 Hampton 57

MEAC women

March 09, 2006|By KENT BAKER | KENT BAKER,SUN REPORTER

Raleigh, N.C. -- Coppin State's women took the first step toward a successful defense of their Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title yesterday, pulling away from a young, turnover-beset Hampton team, 70-57, in a quarterfinal at the RBC Center.

It was the 27th straight conference victory for the Lady Eagles (20-8), who are 19-0 this season in the MEAC and also beat Morgan State in a nonleague game that didn't count in the standings.

"We weren't very fluid, and it's the first time since the conference started that we weren't as connected as we usually are. It was probably first-game jitters," Coppin coach Derek Brown said. "But we played enough defense and made enough shots to win the game."

Hampton (7-22) finished with 33 turnovers and shot 33 percent against a Lady Eagles defense that is third nationally in field-goal percentage and sixth in points allowed. It was the first time Coppin has beaten the Lady Pirates in the postseason tournament after three defeats.

A big lift came from the reserves, with freshman center Whitney Cunningham (Western) contributing 13 points and five rebounds and junior guard Tamieka Noel supplying 12 points, two steals and two assists in just 14 minutes.

"These two provided the spark we needed," said Brown, the MEAC Coach of the Year.

Hampton was still in the game midway through the second half when a three-point shooting spree by All-MEAC guard Rashida Suber (game-high 19 points) started putting it out of reach. Two-time MEAC Player of the Year Sherrie Tucker added 13 points for the No. 1-seeded Eagles, who meet today's Howard-South Carolina State winner tomorrow in the semifinals. kent.baker@baltsun.com

HAMPTON-Butler 6-14 3-5 16, Johnson 0-6 2-2 2, McKinney 3-8 1-2 7, James 3-8 2-2 8, Finley 3-7 2-2 8, Ukoh 2-3 0-0 4, Rickenbacker 0-5 2-4 2, Corbitt 0-0 1-2 1, Rogers 2-6 5-5 9. Totals 19-57 18-24 57. COPPIN STATE-Harden 0-2 2-4 2, Oakley 3-6 1-2 7, Sutton 1-4 2-4 4, Suber 6-17 2-2 19, Tucker 6-12 0-1 13, Noel 4-4 4-6 12, Cunningham 6-8 1-3 13. Totals 26-55 12-22 70. Halftime-Coppin State, 29-21. 3-point goals-Hampton 1-5 (Butler 1-5); Coppin State 6-16 (Oakley 0-2, Suber 5-11, Tucker 1-3). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Hampton 41 (Rogers 7); Coppin State 31 (Sutton 8). Assists-Hampton 8 (Finley 5); Coppin State 20 (Sutton 8). Total fouls-Hampton 16; Coppin State 17. A-n/a.

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