Shawntae Payne scored four points, including the game-clinching free throw with three seconds to play, during the final minute of play leading Coppin State to a 78-74 victory over North Carolina A&T in the quarterfinals of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament on Thursday at the Lawrence Joel Veteran's Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C.
With the victory, Coppin State (20-11) advances to the semifinals where it will meet top-seeded Hampton (24-4) at noon today.
The Eagles built a 23-point lead in the second half only to see North Carolina A&T (15-16) come all the way back and take a five-point lead.
"The first half was probably the best basketball we have played all year," said head coach Derek Brown. "But just like we built that lead over 20 minutes we knew we would have to play another 20 minutes to win it. ."
A jumper by JaQuayla Berry gave the Aggies a 68-63 lead with 3:09 to play.
Kyra Coleman made the front end of a two-shot opportunity with 2:04 to play and Leola Spotwood (14 points) rebounded the missed second attempt and scored on the putback to bring the Eagles to with 68-66.
Amber Calvin (26 points) made one free throw to extend the lead to 69-66, but Larrisa Carter scored inside for the Eagles to trim the lead to 69-68 with 1:28 to play.
After a North Carolina A&T turnover, Carter converted a 3-point play after a layup and a free throw to give the Eagles a 71-69 lead with 1:16 to play.
Berry answered with a jumper in the lane for North Carolina A&T that tied the game at 71-71 with 59 seconds left.
Payne then made one of two free throw attempts with 47 seconds to play that put Coppin State ahead for good at 72-71.
Florida A&M 50, UMES 48: Tameka McKelton scored on an inbounds play under the basket with four seconds left to lift the Rattlers (22-7) over the Hawks (12-18) in an MEAC quarterfinal in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Third-seed Florida A&M faces second-seed Howard in today's semfinal at 2 p.m.
UMES took an early lead before the Rattlers rallied to close out the first half with a 27-22 lead. The Hawks used a 19-13 run to take a 41-40 lead with 8:08 left. UMES continued to hold on, leading 48-45 with 1:08 left. McKelton tied the game with a 3-pointer with 48 seconds left.
Chelsea Sanders finished with a career-high 25 points for the Hawks.
Old Dominion 72, Towson 58: Krystal Parnell had 14 points, but the Tigers (16-14) were outscored, 18-9, over the final 10 minutes of an opening round Colonial Athletic Association Tournament game.
Towson took an early lead with Ciara Webb hitting a jumper for a 10-7 lead with 13:!9 left and Nyree Williams had a layup at 9:56 for a 13-8 lead. But, Tia Lewis scored 11 of the next 13 points for the Lady Monarchs (), who took a 23-21 led with four minutes left in the half.
After trailing 29-25 at the half, Towson retook the lead in the second half as Parnell scored nine of 13 team points for a 38-37 Tigers lead. Towson's final lead came on a jumper by Tanisha McTileer, 47-46, with 12:10 to go.
State women's basketball
Coppin State holds on against N.C. A&T
Eagles recover after losing 23-point lead in MEAC quarterfinal
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