Coppin claws way back to 83-69 win; Warrick's 28 points lead rally from 9-point deficit, victory over Florida A


Fang Mitchell still stalks the sideline and the Coppin State Eagles still command respect.

But the Eagles are no longer the most feared team in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Florida A&M; proved that fact last night when the last-place Rattlers came into the Coppin Center and twice built nine-point leads in the first half before wilting under the pressure of Fred Warrick's hot shooting that carried Coppin to an 83-69 victory in a less-than-artistic game.

Warrick was sharp from three-point range all evening in a 28-point scoring effort that overshadowed another relentless offensive performance by Florida A&M; senior guard Monroe Pippins.

Warrick hit six of 10 from beyond the arc to account for 18 points and he added six rebounds and two assists.

"Fred is a tremendous player," Mitchell said. "I hope he keeps up this kind of shooting. He's been carrying us all year."

Senior center Dorian Pena also had a big night for Coppin (4-12, 3-3) as he scored a career-high 18 points and had eight rebounds.

Florida A&M;'s Pippins scored a career-high 37 points just two days after he burned Morgan State for a then-career-high of 34 points in a 24-point loss to the Bears at Gilman.

Pippins drove the lane for layups, pulled up for 15-foot jumpers and fired away from three-point range in a 6-for-13 performance. Pippins finished 14 of 28 from the field as he scored more than half his team's points.

For Warrick, it's been a major adjustment playing without the likes of Antoine Brockington and Danny Singletary this season, but he said: "I'm used to it now. Every year you have to learn to play without guys you lose. We got a win tonight but that was about it. I thought Florida A&M; came out and played more aggressive than we did."

Mitchell also didn't like what he witnessed.

"Anytime I see more than 20 turnovers, I'm not happy," he said of Coppin's 27 turnovers. "We didn't have much intensity and our younger players are still learning what it takes to be successful every night out. But I still believe we have the talent to win the MEAC. I could see that when we played California, Iowa and New Mexico tough on the road."

Mitchell is also obviously proud of his 66-56 victory over Lefty Driesell and Georgia State, his second win over a member of college basketball's 700-victory coaching club. The first came over Missouri's Norm Stewart last season.

"There are only 11 members of that 700 club," said Mitchell with a smile.

FLORIDA A&M; -- Green 1-6 0-6 3, Rhodes 2-3 0-0 4, George 2-7 1-4 5, Scott 2-10 1-3 6, Pippins 14-28 3-4 37, Cuyler 0-1 0-0 0, Grant 3-8 0-0 7, Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Magee 1-5 0-1 3, Jenkins 1-1 2-5 4. Totals 26-70 7-23 69.

COPPIN STATE -- Pointer 3-5 0-0 6, Pena 7-11 4-7 18, Sims 0-2 4-4 4, Cajigas 2-6 4-4 10, Warrick 9-17 4-4 28, Hamond 2-2 0-1 4, Seamon 3-8 2-2 9, Reavis 0-0 0-0 0, Lee 0-0 0-0 0, Cooks 0-1 0-0 0, Watkins 1-1 2-2 4. Totals 27-53 20-24 83.

Halftime--Coppin State 35-34. 3-point goals--FA&M; 10-33 (Green 1-4, Scott 1-6, Pippins 6-13, Grant 1-6, Magee 1-4); CS 9-22 (Pointer 0-1, Sims 0-2, Cajigas 2-4, Warrick 6-10, Seamon 1-5). Fouled out--George. Rebounds--FA&M; 39 (Pippins 7); CS 42 (Seamon 9). Assists--FA&M; 6 (Scott 3); CS 16 (Sims 7). Total fouls--FA&M; 26; CS 21. A--808.

Pub Date: 1/12/99

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