Two teams came into Coppin Center heading in different directions, and continued doing exactly that last night when Coppin defeated Norfolk State, 64-52, getting 20 points and 11 rebounds from Jimmy Boykin.
The Eagles' win was the seventh in their past eight games - after a weak start - in contrast to the Hornets, who began strong but dropped their fifth game in the past seven. The win means Coppin has a chance to jump into second place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tomorrow night by beating Hampton.
It would continue a hot streak for the Eagles (9-13, 9-4), who came into last night's game after going on the road and handing league leader South Carolina State its first conference loss of the season.
Coppin began the game with accurate shooting and allowed only 37.5 percent of Norfolk States field-goal tries in the first half. While the Eagles went 10 minutes without missing a basket, they couldn't take care of the ball - committing 11 first-half turnovers and keeping the Hornets (10-11, 7-5) in the game.
But after Chakowby Hicks hit a layup with 8:19 left in the first to pull Norfolk to within 17-15, Coppin dominated until halftime.
Boykin, who had 14 first-half points, combined with Thompson (who added 16 for the game) to score the Eagles' next 15 points, while the team allowed only three points during a span of 5:09.
After Thompson's steal and layin at the 3:10 mark, Coppin held a 32-18 lead and went into the break with a 38-26 edge.
The Eagles weren't threatened in any significant way in the second half, taking their largest lead at 42-26 on a short jumper by Raheem Scott with 18:16 left in the game.
Norfolk State closed to 53-46 on a dunk by Ricky Woods at the 7:31 mark, but found only another setback in a league campaign that began with five straight wins.
Hicks finished with 11 for Norfolk State.