The battle of the Eagles was not pretty by any stretch of the imagination this past Saturday afternoon for Coppin State at the Physical Education Center. The American Eagles led from wire-to-wire in their 64-42 crushing of the Coppin State Lady Eagles.
Larrisa Carter (16 points) and Kyra Coleman (15 points) scored the bulk of the points for Coppin State (4-6), who lost their first home game of the season. Among the four other CSU players that contributed, none scored more than four points. That is a concern for Coppin State head coach Derek Brown. “I’m looking to get more points from Amber Griffin. She hasn’t figured it out yet,” said Brown. “She is a playmaker, but we do need her to put the ball in the basket.”
Coppin is missing senior point guard Ashle Craig, who was out with a bad hamstring. Brown mentioned that Ashle will be on the shelf until she is completely ready. That will be up to the doctors.
Defense was the calling card for American (7-3) as they forced 27 Coppin State turnovers, 11 of them on steals. American head coach Megan Gebbia was pleased about her team’s defensive efforts, saying, “That’s the thing we’ve been focusing on in the last week since we lost to Mount St. Mary’s. We have to be able to win games when you don’t shoot the ball well. And so I’ve been on them saying, hey, if you want to win a championship, you have to do it on the [defensive] end of the floor. Rebounding could’ve been a little bit better. But again, we’re making progress every day and every game.”
Coppin State pounded American 47-31 on the boards, including a 20-8 margin on the offensive end. However, Coach Brown pointed out, “We got to put the ball back in the basket. [We had] 20 offensive rebounds, but how many times did we convert from those offensive rebounds? We got to put the ball in.”
Coppin State only scored 10 second chance points off of their huge offensive rebounding advantage.
American started strong, outscoring CSU 19-9 in the first 10 minutes of the game. The Lady Eagles had issues putting the ball in the basket all game long. Any run Coppin would make in this game, American had an answer for. Coming into this game, American has beaten MEAC opponents UMES and four-time defending MEAC champion Hampton.
Coppin State converted 30.6% (15-of-49) of their shots on the day. That included a poor first half effort of converting six of 27 shots (22.2%). American made the same amount of shots as Coppin did all game long; converting 15-of-31 first half attempts (48.3%).
All nine players for American who got on the floor scored while only six of the nine Coppin players got on the board. Alexis Dobbs recorded the only double-double of the game with 10 points and 10 assists. Dobbs has been a key according to Coach Gebbia. “Alexis has been great. We wanted to get her votes to be the Patriot League Player of the Year, Player of the Week, whatever,” said Gebbia. “She is just crucial. Alexis makes good decisions. Right now, we don’t have a back-up point guard. So it’s hard to take her out. Therefore, she is playing a ton of minutes on bum knees for the most part. She is doing an outstanding job on her senior year.”
Coleman and Janelle Lane pulled down a game high nine rebounds for the Lady Eagles in the effort. American travels across the way to George Washington to play the Colonials on Saturday afternoon. Coppin next travels to Charlottesville to take on the University of Virginia and either Princeton or Alabama in the Cavalier Classic Tournament on Saturday and Sunday afternoon respectively.