Coppin wishes it weren't in Kansas anymore


MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Coppin State got off to a slow start last night in its first of two games in the state of Kansas, falling to Kansas State, 73-54.

In the postgame news conference, Coppin State coach Fang Mitchell didn't have many good words about the officiating.

"They say we were supposed to come out here, take our money and be happy," Mitchell said.

"I just hope the Lord above corrects this problem. As I said during the game, they wouldn't treat [the University of] Kansas this way."

Drawing much of Mitchell's ire was what he perceived to be a foul on a shot by the Eagles' Sidney Goodman with 15 minutes to go.

Kansas State guard Anthony Beane flashed by Goodman, whose shot hit the side of the backboard as the shot clock expired.

The possession went to Kansas State, which went on a 10-4 run after that to take control.

"It's a different type of play in the Big Eight -- they allow them to be more physical," Mitchell said. "But if that's the way games are played, I understand why there's violence in the streets."

The game got off to a sloppy start when Coppin State was called on fouls three times before scoring its first basket and Kansas State countered with three turnovers.

A three-pointer by Askia Jones, the Wildcats' leading scorer, spotted Kansas State a 10-4 lead with 15:45 left in the first half.

Coppin State trailed the Wildcats until Micheal Thomas hit a short jumper, and on the next possession followed with a rebound for a 27-26 lead with 2:52 left.

A turnover by Jones gave Coppin State a chance to extend the lead, but forward Stephen Stewart missed a short jumper, and Kansas State's Deryl Cunningham went to the line after being fouled by Thomas on a layup attempt.

Cunningham's two free throws put the Wildcats up 28-27 with 1:12 to go in the half.

The two teams traded possessions until the Eagles got the ball back with 35 seconds left, but guard Xavier Fuller was called for a carry with 14 seconds to go.

Kansas State capitalized on the turnover with 1.3 seconds left when Coppin State was called for a goaltending on a 3-foot jump shot by Ron Lucas, a Lake Clifton graduate.

The second half began as slowly as the first until Kansas State's Jones got on track. The shooting guard hit three consecutive three-pointers to push Kansas State to a 39-30 lead with 15:52 to go.

A layup by Stewart cut the lead to 41-34, but Kansas State's Jones connected on a layup and two three-pointers in the next three minutes to boost Kansas State to a 51-38 lead with 10:57 to go.

The Eagles will finish their Kansas swing with a game against Wichita State tomorrow night.

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