Anthony Tarke was adamant about playing with his younger brother, Nendah, to finish out his college basketball career. Thursday night was a dream come true.
Led by a near triple double from Anthony Tarke and 20 points from Nendah, the Coppin State men’s basketball team defeated visiting UNC Greensboro, 85-80, for its first win of the season.
The elder Tarke played with a fire throughout the game, finishing with 33 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. He missed just two shots from the field, going 11-for-13, and was 9-for-15 from the free-throw line.
According to the College-Basketball-Reference database, Tarke became the first Division I player to hit 33 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, four steals and four blocks in one game since at least the 2010-11 season.
Nendah added 20 points and four rebounds, shooting 7-for-9 from the field.
“They are very strong, very physical athletes – better young men,” Eagles coach Juan Dixon said of the Tarke brothers, who hail from Gaithersburg. “They’re so talented that they gamble a lot — they always try to get some steals, right? They remind me a lot of myself, but what we need those guys to do is to continue to learn.”
Anthony Tarke was recruited as a graduate transfer from University of Texas at El Paso, where he scored just 37 points in four games last season after transferring from New Jersey Institute of Technology. Luckily for Coppin State, the Eagles ran into his younger brother through his recommendation. Nendah, a former star at Bullis School near Washington, became the first Tarke to make his commitment, and Anthony, who played at Gaithersburg High School, soon followed.
“What we try to do is just have our guys be free,” Dixon said. “We expect these guys to be solid. We expect these guys to pay attention to detail when they’re out here competing. What a heck of a game for the Tarkes, but we’ve got to keep building.”
The Eagles’ 3-point shooting kept them in the game in the first half, as they hit six of 17 attempts while the Spartans could only make two of their 23 tries from beyond the arc.
Anthony Tarke and UNCG’s Khyre Thompson went back and forth, scoring 13 and 14 points, respectively, in the first half. The Coppin State guard did the majority of what was asked of him by Dixon, diving for a loose ball, shooting 2-for-3 from beyond the arc and hitting three of five attempts from the field. He even added three rebounds and four assists.
Thompson, who finished with 18 points, had five rebounds of his own in the first half and helped UNCG briefly take the lead near the end of the first half, which ended tied at 35.
Coppin State began the second half on a tear, with Anthony Tarke scoring the Eagles’ first five points. Isaiah Miller started to warm up for the Spartans in the second half, finishing with a team-high 24 points. While Coppin State jumped out to its largest lead at 54-41 with 14:17 left to play, UNCG continued to chip away.
It began with the Spartans’ bench, which outscored Coppin State’s 40-22. UNCG also crushed the Eagles on the boards, outrebounding them 52-35, and held a 26-2 advantage on second-chance points.
The Spartans closed the gap significantly with less than three minutes left. Keyshaun Langley made a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 77-69, and after Anthony Tarke’s made free throw, A.J. McGinnis hit another 3 to make it 78-72. Thompson and Miller helped cut the deficit to 83-80 with 23 seconds remaining, but Nendah Tarke hit two free throws to seal the 85-80 win.
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