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Coppin lets game slip away, falls in OT

The Baltimore Sun

Coppin State coach Fang Mitchell was a frustrated man after last night's Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game with Bethune-Cookman.

Mitchell could understand why Bethune-Cookman handed his Eagles a 56-55 loss in overtime at the Coppin Center. The Wildcats made several key plays in the final three minutes of the extra period to rally for the victory.

But what really bothered Mitchell was the fact that his team could have won the game. Coppin State (4-14, 0-4) had a three-point lead and the ball with 2:20 left in overtime. The Eagles turned it over, giving Bethune-Cookman (7-10, 2-2) an easy basket to start the Wildcats on a six-point run that gave them the lead for good.

"Nobody stepped up," Mitchell said. "We missed layups. We missed foul shots. We missed easy shots. The game was ours to win, and we [didn't]."

Dominique Whatley led the Wildcats with 20 points, and Tywain McKee topped Coppin State with 14 points, but he was the only player in double figures. The Eagles never really got going on offense and started 0-4 in the MEAC for the first time in school history.

Both teams were being patient on offense and working the clock on every possession, but Coppin State kept making small mistakes that added up and proved costly.

The Eagles shot just 39 percent from the field (20-for-52) and only 58 percent (11-for-19) from the free-throw line. They also missed 10 of their 14 three-point shots.

They made just eight turnovers, but the one in overtime proved crucial. It was the type of mistake driving Mitchell crazy afterward.

"You don't miss foul shots," Mitchell said. "You don't turn the ball over. [These] are things that hurt you."

The Eagles also had too many dry spells. They went without a basket for nearly six minutes late in the first half, five minutes late in the second half and didn't get any in the final four minutes, 26 seconds of overtime.

Julian Conyers got that basket, and Antwan Harrison added a free throw with 3:04 left to give Coppin State a 53-50 lead. Jimmy Hudson scored a breakaway layup off the Eagles turnover to cut the lead to one with 2:11 left.

John Holmes (10 points, 12 rebounds) made two free throws to give Bethune-Cookman the lead for good at 54-53 with 1:16 left. Dewayne Pettus' jumper gave the Wildcats a three-point lead with 29 seconds left, and Coppin State couldn't come back.

BETHUNE-COOKMAN--Holmes 3-9 4-7 10, Hudson 3-10 4-4 11, Anderson 0-1 0-0 0, Woods 1-5 0-0 2, Pettus 4-5 0-1 8, Carrier 1-1 0-0 3, Creppy 0-0 0-0 0, Whatley 8-13 2-3 20, Cook 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 21-46 10-15 56. COPPIN STATE--Duncan 3-3 0-1 7, Chesnut 2-4 0-2 4, Kucinskas 0-2 0-0 0, Goldsberry 3-6 2-2 9, McKee 4-11 6-6 14, Iloegbu 1-3 0-0 3, Miller 2-3 0-0 5, Hayden 0-1 0-0 0, Conyers 2-5 0-0 4, Harrison 3-11 1-4 7, Pressey 0-3 2-4 2. Totals 20-52 11-19 55. Half: Bethune-Cookman, 24-21. Regulation: 50-50. 3-point goals: BC 4-11 (Whatley 2-5, Carrier 1-1, Hudson 1-4, Cook 0-1); CS 4-14 (Miller 1-1, Duncan 1-1, Goldsberry 1-2, Iloegbu 1-3, Harrison 0-1, Conyers 0-2, McKee 0-4). Rebounds: BC 32 (Holmes 12); CS 33 (Pressey 8). Assists: BC 9 (Woods 4); CS 10 (McKee 5). Total fouls: BC 17, CS 14. A--227.

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