The top and bottom of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference collided last night at the Coppin Center . . . and they found no middle ground.
Coppin State extended its streak of victories against MEAC competition to 29 in a row and Morgan State stayed mired in the basement after an 82-52 Eagles romp. Coppin also tied Temple for the nation's longest winning streak with 10 in a row.
The game's most interesting aspect was the ejection of Coppin coach Fang Mitchell with 6:08 left. He received a double technical, first for questioning a foul call and a second for going onto the floor and was banished with Coppin leading 64-39.
Coppin (16-7, 10-0) put it away with a 22-4 run at the start of a second half in which it held the Bears without a field goal for 11 minutes, 46 seconds.
Morgan (3-17, 1-9) finished with only two field goals in the second half, a three-pointer by Chico Langston and a put-back by Chris McCarthy, despite taking 25 shots.
Overall, the Bears were held to 24.5 percent shooting (13 of 53) by the swarming Coppin defense and committed 23 turnovers.
"An ice storm is supposed to be coming and that's what we looked like . . . cold," said Morgan coach Michael Holmes. "We just haven'tplayed well in conference games."
Not that losing at Coppin is a sin. The Eagles have an 18-game home-court winning streak since being upset by UMBC in the third game of last season.
"I think we did a real good job of denying the passing lanes and contesting every jump shot," said Mitchell. "And we did everything we could to double up and keep [Gerald] Jordan off-balance."
Morgan's leading scorer was rationed to three shots and two points while playing 22 minutes. Holmes said Jordan "has been sick with the flu for four or five days.
"Once they took away our inside game like that, it was very tough on the perimeter people."
MEAC leading scorer Stephen Stewart bullied away the opposition around the basket and also sank two three-pointers to lead Coppin with 26 points and 12 rebounds.
But the milestone of the night went to guard Keith Carmichael (19 points), whose second of five three-pointers broke Reggie Isaac's Coppin career record of 83 set from 1988 to 1991. Carmichael has 86.
JTC Langston led Morgan with 15 points but was charged with 10 turnovers.
Meanwhile, Mitchell was tossed by the officials for the first time in his Coppin career after expressing his displeasure with what he thinks is a league trend.
"All the [MEAC coaches] are complaining that we're getting favors, and what happens is that the refs in turn make calls against us," said Mitchell.
"I've never had a two-technical game and I don't even get one technical any more. The problem is the other coaches are acting like crybabies and the officials kind of get intimidated by them."
MEAC supervisor of officials John Russell has attended the past two Coppin games and is closely reviewing the tapes.
"All I'm doing is fighting for my kids," said Mitchell. "If I expect them to give me 40 minutes, I should give them the same. I don't want them playing at a disadvantage."
The defeat was the seventh straight for Morgan.