Morgan, Coppin tangle Friday night with MEAC title game berth at stake

March 14, 2014 | WNST Staff

Game Dates: Friday, March 14, 2014
Opponent: No. 7 Coppin State Eagles
Site: The Scope Arena, Norfolk, Va.
Game Time: 8 p.m.
Record:  MSU 14-15 (11-5 MEAC)
MSU Coach: Todd Bozeman (142-115 – 8th yr)

BALTIMORE, Md. – Scoring its third win in four games, No. 3 seed Morgan State (14-15) advanced to the semifinal round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament for the seventh time in eight seasons after taking down No. 6 seed Florida A&M, 81-68, last night. The win avenged an earlier 78-73 loss (3/3) to the Rattlers on Senior Night at Hill Field House. The Bears tip-off against No. 7 seed Coppin State (12-19) at 8 p.m. and will be attempting to punch its ticket to the MEAC Championship title game.

Morgan State, 13-15 overall, finished tied for third in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference with Norfolk State at 11-5 but earned the number three seed based on the conference’s tiebreaker system.

The Bears have had unprecedented success in the MEAC Tournament under head coach Todd Bozeman. The Bears have participated in five of the last seven MEAC Tournament championships, captured back-to-back MEAC Titles, and made appearances in the NIT and two NCAA Tournaments.

Morgan State capped the regular season with a 68-66 overtime win over Howard at Burr Gymnasium to garner the No. 3 seed. Although the Bears have won five of its last seven games, now everyone is zero and zero again when teams take the floor at the Norfolk Scope Arena.

FOLLOW ALONG WITH LIVE STATS & LIVE STREAM
Live stats of all games will be available on the conference’s official website, www.MEAChoops .com. The preliminary games will also be streamed live on MEACsports.com.

IT’S OK TO BE A FOLLOWER 
MSU men’s basketball fans can follow their favorite team, or any of the other MSU athletics programs on Twitter through the handle @MorganStBears.

MEAC TOURNAMENT FACTS
• Morgan State has won three MEAC Tournaments (1977, 2009 & 2010) and has made five championship appearances under Coach Bozeman.

• Morgan State has advanced to the MEAC Semifinals seven times in the last eight seasons.

• Todd Bozeman has led Morgan State to 16 of the school’s 31 MEAC Tournament wins.

• Morgan State coach Todd Bozeman was the 2009 and 2010 Outstanding Coach of the MEAC Tournament.

• Morgan State has had four MVP’s of the MEAC Tournament: Marvin ‘The Human Eraser” Webster (1975); Eric “The Pencil” Evans (1977); Reggie Holmes (2009); and Kevin Thompson (2010).

• Morgan State legendary center Marvin Webster averaged 21.3 rebounds per game during the 1975 MEAC Tournament.

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SCOUTING COPPIN STATE
Coppin State, 12-19 overall, finished 7-9 in the MEAC and earned the number seven seed. The Eagles advanced to the semifinals as a result of defeating No. 10 seed Bethune-Cookman, 75-68, in the opening round of the MEAC, followed by an upset victory agianst No. 2 seed Hampton, 83-77, on Wednesday night in the quarterfinals. Coppin State is a riding a 3-game winning streak when they enter tonight’s showdown with crosstown rival No. 3 seed Morgan State.

WE MEET AGAIN
The Morgan State Bears will square off against the Eagles for the 78th meeting between the two. Coppin State holds a 51-26 advantage, however the Bears have won the last five meetings. Todd Bozeman holds a 14-4 record against the Eagles since becoming MSU’s head coach in 2006. His teams also hold a 1-1 record versus Coppin State in MEAC Tournament play … losing to the Eagles 62-60 in the 2008 Championship title game, and defeating the Eagles 75-67 in the 2009 Semifinals.

LAST TIME VS. THE EAGLES
February 20, 2014 — The Morgan State Bears were able to overcome a rough first half with some intense defense to defeat cross-town rival Coppin State Eagles 78-69 In front of a sold out crowd at Hill Field House. Justin Black led Morgan State (11-13, 9-3 MEAC) with 22 points and 10 assists and was one of five Bears to score in double figures on the night. Michael Murray led Coppin with 21 points and 11 rebounds in the effort.

NEXT UP: If Morgan State wins, they will advance to the finals on Saturday, March 15 at 6 p.m. and live on ESPNU. The Bears will take on the winner of Thursday night’s game (6 p.m.) between No. 1 North Carolina Central and No. 4 Norfolk State. It would mark the sixth appearance in the Finals in the last eight seasons.

THREE IN DOUBLE FIGURES
Thru 29 games last season, three Bears averaged more than 10 points a game. Justin Black leads with by averaging 18.9 ppg (No. 3 in MEAC), Ian Chiles averages 15.2 points per game (No. 9 in MEAC), while Anthony Hubbard is averaging 10.7 points and leads the squad averaging 6.8 rpg (No. 9).

BLACK A MEMBER OF THE 1,000 POINTS CLUB 
Senior guard Justin Black eclipsed the 1,000 point mark for his career as a result of his 24-point outing against Cal State Northridge (12/27) … Black recently moved in front of Jason McCoy (1,292 pts – 1987-91) as the school’s No. 13 leading scorer and following his career-high 29 points outing against No. 6 seed Florida A&M he currently has 1,350 career points.

WELCOME TO THE CLUB MR. CHILES
Senior center Ian Chiles kept up his scoring average with 15 points and moved up to No. 22 on Morgan State’s all-time scoring list with 1,010 career points. He is only 10 points shy of becoming the school’s No. 21 leading scorer held currently by Randy Hampton (1,019 pts / 1984-88).

VETERANS HUNGRY FOR THE ‘SHIP 
Seniors Justin Black and Ian Chiles are attempting to advance to the third MEAC Final of their career. The standout duo were members of the Bears squad that was defeated by Hampton (60-55) in 2011 MEAC championship game, and they fell short again when North Carolina A&T (57-54) captured the title in 2013.

THEIVES IN THE NIGHT
Two Bears are averaging better than 1.0 steals per game - Justin Black (2.0 – ranked No. 2 in MEAC), and Donte Pretlow (1.4 – No. 9). Morgan State also ranked No. 5 in the MEAC by averaging 6.5 steals per game.

LOOK WHO’S IN SLAM 
Morgan State senior guard Justin Black was featured in SLAM ONLINE (www.slamonline.com) in an article entitled “Game Plan.”

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