Coppin misfires in quarters

MEAC men

Norfolk State 79 Coppin State 67


Raleigh, N.C. -- Coppin State entered the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference men's tournament with a No. 2 seeding and a heavy dose of late-season struggles.

The seeding meant nothing last night, but the problems continued as seventh-seeded Norfolk State eliminated the Eagles in the quarterfinals, 79-67, last night at the RBC Center.

Coppin (12-18) couldn't overcome its poor shooting and the inside presence of Spartans center Calvin Brown, who scored 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Until he missed two late free throws, Brown was perfect from the field and the foul line.

All-MEAC second-team guard Tony Murphy added 23 points for Norfolk (13-17), which narrowly escaped its first-round game with UMES, one that ended in controversy over a last-second no call.

The Eagles had won both regular-season meetings and entered the night with a five-game winning streak against Norfolk, but they never could take command in this one. They shot only 37 percent and were a miserable 3-for-20 from three-point range until they hit three late ones from beyond the arc after the game had been decided.

"We have to make shots. If you don't put the ball in, you've got problems," said Coppin coach Fang Mitchell. "When they don't fall, you start gambling and what you're doing is digging a deeper hole. In the tournament, your scorers have to be there or it's one and out.

"I've learned that if you play not to lose, you'll lose. That's how we played during the [season's] stretch run. We think we're going to outscore people and trading baskets don't make it when you're not making enough."

Darryl Proctor made several tough buckets inside down the stretch and paced Coppin with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Rookie of the Year Tywain McKee added 14 points, but was only 3-for-12 from the field.

Coppin got off to a miserable start with its shooting, missing the first 10 attempts and committing three turnovers before Augie Woodlin hit the team's first field goal at the 13:18 mark of the first half.

That helped the Spartans pull away to lead by as many as 10 points before the Coppin offense came alive.

Coppin finished the regular season with losses in three of its final four starts. Norfolk entered the game off the previous night's controversial 73-71 victory over UMES.

The Eagles did not hit a three-pointer in the half, going 0-for-7, but accumulated 10 points off Spartans turnovers to stay within reach.

Brown topped Norfolk with 13 points while going 4-for-4 from the field and 5-for-5 from the line. Proctor had eight points for Coppin.

NORFOLK STATE-Thomas 0-2 3-4 3, Young 4-9 3-4 13, Murphy 7-17 5-6 23, Gary 1-1 0-0 2, Ogunride 3-4 3-4 9, Faulcon 0-0 0-0 0, Cann 0-2 0-0 0, Dunkley 0-0 2-4 2, Lyons 1-4 0-0 2, Brown 8-8 9-11 25, Vickers 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-47 25-33 79. COPPIN STATE-Bell 3-7 1-2 10, McKee 3-12 7-9 14, Proctor 6-10 6-6 18, Harrison 2-4 0-0 4, Pressey 0-2 0-4 0, Ivey 0-0 0-0 0, Roberts 5-13 0-1 12, Otis 0-1 0-0 0, Miller 0-1 0-0 0, Woodlin 2-5 1-2 5, Norwood 2-5 0-1 4, Chesnut 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 23-62 15-25 67. Half: Norfolk State, 31-29. 3-point goals: NS 6-14 (Murphy 4-7, Young 2-5, Thomas 0-2); CS 6-24 (Bell 3-6, Roberts 2-7, McKee 1-6, Miller 0-1, Otis 0-1, Woodlin 0-3). Rebounds: NS 40 (Brown 11); CS 31 (Proctor 10). Assists: NS 16 (Thomas 7); CS 10 (McKee, Roberts 3). Total fouls: NS 23, CS 22. Fouled out: Thomas, McKee, Harrison. A: n/a.

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