NORFOLK, Va. -- There is more than one basketball team at Coppin State.
The Eagle women are 17-8 overall and in the semifinals of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament. They began the season with five straight wins and want to finish the best season in the program's short history the way it started, on a roll. Yesterday they took care of the only MEAC team that swept them in the regular season, eliminating Delaware State 65-55 in the quarterfinals at the Norfolk Scope.
"We started the season by winning two tournaments, so why not win down here and make it 3-0?" coach Doug Robertson said. "I want people to know we've got a good team, that Coppin State is solid in basketball all the way around."
The Coppin State men are 18-9. Add in the women's 17-8, and the combined 37-17 is the best among the state's Division I schools.
Robertson has a balanced squad; senior forward Regina Nolan is the only player averaging in double figures. Nolan and senior guard Bess Simpson, the Eagles' most consistent players, both helped Hilbert (N.Y.) Junior College to a sixth-place finish in the nationals two years ago.
Coppin State runs into top-seeded South Carolina State in tomorrow's (2:30 p.m.) semifinals. The other semifinal will send UMES, a 58-45 winner over Howard, up against North Carolina A&T;, which ran away from Morgan State, 67-50.
One of the top players in A&T; history is Helena Creamer, a senior center who graduated from Wilmington (Del.) High, but played before that at City College. A two-time MEAC All-Star, Creamer has four-year totals of 1,340 points and 759 rebounds.
* Towson State goes into the opening round of the East Coast Conference women's tournament tonight minus Danielle Barry, a freshman forward who underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament Monday. She was operated on a day after being named ECC Rookie of the Week.
The Tigers are at Drexel in one of three first-round games. Second-seeded UMBC is at home tonight (7:30) against Hofstra. The winners play in the ECC semifinals Sunday at the Towson Center.
* George Forrest has been dismissed as the defensive coordinator with the Morgan State football team. New head coach Ricky Diggs will be allowed to bring in his own man to fill one of the two full-time assistant positions the Golden Bears have.
There are plans for Morgan State to resume playing Towson State, possibly as early as 1992. The two last played in 1987, and in an era of cost-cutting, it makes sense for the state's only Division I-AA teams to meet, especially when they are separated by a 5-mile bus ride.
* February was not a good month for field hockey in Maryland. First Mount St. Mary's announced it would drop the sport, and then Loyola did the same last week.
Conference affiliations affected both decisions. Loyola is a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Association, which is adding women's soccer as a championship sport, and the Greyhounds will be playing that in 1992. The Mount is in the Northeast, which is exploring sponsoring competition in either volleyball or women's soccer.
* Towson State ace gymnast Wendy Weaver could return from a shoulder injury Sunday at William & Mary . . . Former Perry Hall High standout Rachel Doering helped the Essex women win a District championship in track and field, clearing 5 feet, 5 inches in the high jump and placing in two other events.