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With strong 2nd half, Coppin routs winless Howard, 80-56 Warrick leads way with 19, all scored after halftime


For a Coppin State team that is experiencing growing pains, the Howard Bison could not have arrived at a better time.

Coming off Saturday's disappointing home loss to Morgan, Coppin rebounded from a mostly lethargic first half last night on the way to an 80-56 win before 1,307 at the Coppin Center.

It was far from pretty, but Coppin (2-7, 1-1 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) did have four players in double figures -- led by Fred Warrick's 19.

The Eagles, the lowest-scoring team in the MEAC going into last night (59.3 points per game), had their season high against a team that remained winless (0-8, 0-3).

"At this time, I'm just excited about getting any type of win," said Coppin coach Fang Mitchell. "I know how the game started we got into foul trouble, but our bench came through. That was the first time this year they came through and gave us a decent performance."

The effort from the bench was necessary, as Coppin's starting backcourt of Warrick and Rasheem Sims picked up two fouls early.

Warrick played three minutes in the first half and Sims four minutes. Both were scoreless.

That enabled Howard to hang with the Eagles for much of the first half, taking a 26-24 lead with 3: 04 left after a three-pointer by guard Ali Abdullah.

But the Eagles finished the half with a 10-1 run, taking a 34-27 halftime lead.

In the second half, Warrick made up for lost time, scoring his 19 points in 19 second-half minutes.

And throughout the game, the Eagles, after hitting just five field goals in the paint in Saturday's loss, did a better job attacking the basket and getting contributions from their inside players. Reserve forward Tyran Watkins had 10 points, hitting five of six shots, as he provided aggressive minutes off the bench.

"To see someone else step it up, it helps me a lot, and it helps the team," Warrick said. "We need these guys to step up."

Now the Eagles hit the road for their next five games, including contests at Kansas State, Iowa and New Mexico. It's obvious through the first nine games that this is not the typical Coppin State team that often struck fear in opponents.

"With this team we can finish at the top, or we can finish at the bottom," Mitchell said. "It's up to them."

At least Coppin was able to record a blowout against what's likely the worst team in the MEAC this season.

"The better team won," said first-year Howard coach Kirk Saulny.

HOWARD -- Holliway 1-5 0-0 2, Watson 3-12 5-7 11, McCormick 2-2 3-4 7, Strange 0-0 1-2 1, Michell 3-5 3-4 9, Abdullah 2-4 6-8 11, Bayyon 0-0 0-0 0, Alvin 4-5 7-11 15, Libbett 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 15-33 25-36 56.

COPPIN STATE -- Warrick 6-13 4-4 19, Pena 3-7 1-2 7, Reavis 1-3 3-4 5, Sims 0-1 2-2 2, Seamon 4-9 2-2 12, Hamond 2-4 1-2 6, Cajigas 5-9 0-0 13, Davis 0-0 0-0 0, Lee 2-6 0-0 6, Cooks 0-0 0-4 0, Watkins 5-6 0-1 10, Iacona 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-58 13-21 80.

Halftime--Coppin 34-27. 3-point goals--Howard 1-7 (Abdullah 1-2,

Watson 0-5); Coppin 11-24 (Warrick 3-5, Cajigas 3-5, Seamon 2-5, Lee 2-6, Hamond 1-3). Fouled out--McCormick. Rebounds--Howard 28 (Holliway 8); Coppin 27 (Pena 6). Assists--Howard 6 (Abdullah 4); Coppin 16 (Sims 6). Total fouls--Howard 24, Coppin 24. A--1,307.

Pub Date: 12/15/98

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