Coppin surges past Delaware State into first


Freshman guard Darryl Roberts scored four critical points to spark a game-ending scoring spurt by Coppin State last night. As a result, the Eagles knocked visiting Delaware State out of first place and took over the top spot in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Roberts, who had missed the previous four games with an ankle injury, had a team-high 14 points, as Coppin State held off the late-charging Hornets with solid defense and strong free-throw shooting to take a 71-63 victory before 915 at Coppin Center.

The victory gave Coppin (10-12, 10-3) a half-game lead over Delaware State (11-12, 9-3), which had its seven-game winning streak ended. And it didn't come without some drama.

The lead changed hands four times over the game's final four minutes, after Coppin had spent most of the evening keeping the Hornets at bay with their matchup zone defense and a balanced offense. Then Roberts essentially decided the contest.

First, with 53 seconds left, he made a foul shot to give the Eagles a 62-61 lead. Then, after missing the second attempt, Coppin controlled the rebound and got the ball to Roberts, who made a three-pointer from the right wing to make it 65-61 with 39 seconds left. The Eagles then completed their game-ending 11-2 run by converting six straight free-throws.

"The shot was wide open, and I knew I could hit that shot," Roberts said. "When I took it, I knew it was going in."

"When we get a big lead, we lose focus for moments. We start playing dumb basketball," said Coppin coach Fang Mitchell, alluding to leads of 10 points in the first half and nine in the second that evaporated. "The key was we made some stops at the end."

The Eagles have struggled all season on offense, having entered last night ranked 10th in the league in scoring average (58 points). But Coppin had five players score in double figures, including senior center Henry Colter (13 points), junior guard Raheem Scott (13 points) and freshman forward Darryl Proctor (12 points).

The Eagles offset a 39-23 loss in rebounding by shooting 55.3 percent and holding Delaware State to 35.6 percent shooting. Guard Tracey Worley led the Hornets with 17 points.

Coppin State used their zone defense and balanced scoring to take a 25-15 lead with 5:17 left in the first half. But Delaware State, with point guard Aaron Williams leading the way, cut the lead to 30-26 at halftime by effectively attacking the zone inside.

DELAWARE ST. - Shine 1-4 0-0 2, Williams 4-11 6-7 14, Hunter 5-11 2-2 13, Bluntt 4-12 3-3 15, Roundtree 1-3 0-0 2, Davis 0-4 0-0 0, Worley 6-12 2-2 17, Fleetwood 0-2 0-0 0, Broadus 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-59 13-14 63. COPPIN STATE - Otis 1-3 0-0 2, King 3-8 3-4 10, Proctor 5-11 2-2 12, Scott 6-8 0-0 13, Colter 3-7 7-10 13, Roberts 5-6 1-2 14, Woodlin 1-2 0-0 3, Harrison 2-2 0-0 4, Yates 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-47 13-18 71. Halftime-Coppin State, 30-26. 3-point goals-Delaware St. 8-27 (Bluntt 4-10, Worley 3-7, Hunter 1-3, Shine 0-2, Williams 0-2, Davis 0-3), Coppin State 6-14 (Roberts 3-4, Scott 1-2, Woodlin 1-2, King 1-4, Otis 0-2). Fouled out-None. Rebounds-Delaware St. 35 (Hunter 9), Coppin State 22 (King 8). Assists-Delaware St. 14 (Williams 7), Coppin State 13 (King, Proctor, Scott 3). Total fouls-Delaware St. 19, Coppin State 17.

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