Coppin falls, feels sting

Eagles suffer their worst MEAC tournament loss after Hornets' 15-0 run

Delaware State 68 Coppin State 49

College Basketball

March 08, 2007|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Sun reporter

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Twice in the regular season, Coppin State hung tough before falling to Delaware State, the class of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Last night the Hornets showed why this is their third straight season as regular season champion and top tournament seed, however, as they used 15 straight points that spanned halftime to rout the Eagles, 68-49, at the RBC Center.

It was Coppin State's most lop-sided loss ever in the MEAC tournament, and its worst to a conference foe since Feb. 4, 2002, when it fell, 78-51, at Hampton.

"All you have to do is look at the assists," coach Fang Mitchell said. "Three assists. We didn't play together."

It was not what Mitchell expected from eighth-seeded Coppin State (12-20). The Eagles had been on a roll recently, going 9-4 since late January and getting back junior point guard Darryl Roberts, who had missed two months and both losses to Delaware State with a broken foot.

His three-pointer with 4:32 remaining in the first half had the Eagles within 25-24, but the Hornets scored the last 13 points before the break and the first basket after. A three from senior guard Jahsha Bluntt, the MEAC Player of the Year, gave Delaware State a 47-32 lead.

A wide-open three-pointer by Bluntt extended the spread to 59-39 with 5:20 remaining.

Bluntt had 13 of his game-high 16 points in the second half. Junior wing Roy Bright added 15 for the Hornets, who made 12 of their 19 three-point attempts.

"We have always been known as a good defensive team," Mitchell said. "We did not do that tonight, and we have to step it up to another level."

The Eagles, who beat Bethune-Cookman by 12 in a first-round game Tuesday, made their second straight exit in the quarterfinals. The Eagles got 14 points from All-MEAC guard Tywain McKee, the only scorer in double figures.

"This is going to motivate us to get in the gym this summer and work as a team," Roberts said. "This is a bad feeling, to go out in the second round of the MEAC tournament."

Delaware State (20-11) moved into tomorrow's 6 p.m. semifinal, against the winner of the last quarterfinal, tonight's 8 p.m. game between fifth-seeded Morgan State and fourth-seeded South Carolina State.

The Hornets have several veterans who gave Duke a game in the 2005 NCAA tournament. Last year, they were upset in the MEAC championship game by Hampton.

"We're not out here to participate," Bluntt said. "We're out here to win."

COPPIN STATE-Otis 1-1 2-2 4, McKee 5-8 2-2 14, Woodlin 1-5 0-0 2, Harrison 2-8 2-2 6, Chesnut 3-7 0-1 6, Britt 2-2 0-0 5, Roberts 3-8 0-0 7, Conyers 1-3 2-2 5, Pressey 0-0 0-0 0, Kennedy 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 18-45 8-9 49. DELAWARE STATE-Shine 4-5 0-0 11, Bluntt 6-12 0-0 16, Fleetwood 4-9 2-2 12, Roundtree 4-5 0-2 8, Bright 6-13 0-0 15, Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Bush 1-2 0-0 2, White 0-0 2-3 2, D'Agostino 0-0 0-0 0, Neal 0-0 0-0 0, Pejchar 0-0 0-0 0, Sandidge 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 26-48 4-7 68. Half-Delaware State, 38-24. 3-point goals-Coppin St. 5-18 (McKee 2-4, Britt 1-1, Conyers 1-2, Roberts 1-5, Woodlin 0-3, Kennedy 0-3), Delaware St. 12-19 (Bluntt 4-7, Shine 3-3, Bright 3-7, Fleetwood 2-2). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Coppin St. 22 (Woodlin 6), Delaware St. 30 (Bluntt, Fleetwood, Roundtree 6). Assists-Coppin St. 3 (McKee, Roberts, Woodlin 1), Delaware St. 15 (Shine 7). Total fouls-Coppin St. 16, Delaware St. 12. A-NA.

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