Tag Archive | "Andre Armstrong"

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Coppin opens final homestand of season Saturday against UMES

Posted on 28 February 2014 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE — Charles Ieans, Michael Murray and Andre Armstrong haven’t had time to process the emotional meaning of playing their final two regular home games in the Physical Education Complex. They haven’t thought about that after Monday night’s game against Howard, they will never play a college game on campus.

Instead, the trio is focused on helping the Eagles finish the regular season with a flourish and develop some much needed momentum for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) tournament that begins on March 10 in Norfolk, Va. As the Eagles welcome Maryland-Eastern Shore (Saturday, 4 p.m.) and Howard (Monday, 7:30 p.m.) to campus, they are currently in seventh place in the conference with a 6-8 record. Two wins and the Eagles will finish .500 in the conference and no worse than where they are presently sitting in the conference.

Coppin State (9-18 overall, 6-8 MEAC) leads the all-time series over UMES, 58-17. The Hawks (4-22, 2-11) have won four of the past 11 meetings against CSU, but won three in a row between 2010 and 2011.

“It’s in my mind that these are my last two home games,” Armstrong said. “I am just trying to leave my mark and perform to my highest potential and ability. I’ve always had some doubters that said I couldn’t play on this level so I’ve always played with a chip on my shoulder to prove that I am capable of playing at this level.”

Armstrong, Murray and Ieans have created some special memories for the Eagle program during their time. More importantly, all three student-athletes have shined in the classroom with Murray posting a 3.96 grade point average.

Murray has played all four years for the Eagles while Armstrong and Ieans joined the team last year from junior colleges. This season, they have all taken turns to help Coppin State exceed preseason expectations. Coppin was picked to finish 10th in the MEAC preseason poll. The Eagles still have a chance to finish in a three-way tie for fifth place if things break right.

Murray has been special for Coppin State from the day he stepped on campus. Heading into his final two regular season home games, Murray has been named MEAC Player of the Week twice in his career, posted 16 doubles and scored in double figures 42 times. Last season as a junior, Murray led the MEAC in rebounding, averaging 8.9 boards per game. He was named to the preseason all-MEAC team entering this year.

“Michael is a total team player who’s willing to do all of the dirty work and play wherever we need him, inside or outside,” Coppin State head men’s basketball coach Ron “Fang” Mitchell said. “He’s a complete player. He can take over a game when he wants to. His rebounding was surprising to me. Overall, Michael has great character and has brought respect to the program.”

Murray scored a season-high 28 points against Delaware State on Dec. 7. Despite missing all of November with a broken hand, Murray leads the Eagles in scoring (14.1 points per game) and rebounding (6.9). He has scored over 900 points and grabbed 595 rebounds during his memorable career. Murray has five double-doubles this year. Not bad, for somebody who didn’t consider playing hoops after high school.

“Playing here has been a tremendous opportunity for me,” Murray said. “I didn’t even know if I would play college basketball after high school. I was just like ‘whatever happens, happens. To be here and play has been really humbling and amazing.”

Meanwhile, Armstrong has been a binge scorer for the Eagles during his career. He came to Coppin State with a good reputation. Murray, also a fellow New Yorker, had heard about Armstrong’s exploits despite having never had met him.

A sharpshooter, Armstrong has made 121 3-pointers during his career, including 49 this season. He has scored in double figures 33 times during his career and has hit for 20 or more eight times. Armstrong made eight 3-pointers in a game against Norfolk State last year. In two years, Armstrong has rung up over 650 points. He has been super consistent from the foul line, missing 41 free throws while shooting 82.1 percent in two years.

“We brought him here to be a scorer and he has done that,” Mitchell said. “He puts pressure on the defense, which has helped us offensively. Teams usually try and put one of their better defenders on him. Teams have had to worry about him when he’s on the floor. He’s been consistent and has been a hard worker.”

Ieans admitted that he’s grown immensely while playing for Mitchell. This season, Ieans had his best week when he tied a career-high with 13 points against Akron and scored 12 points against Towson four days later. Even though Ieans averages 3.3 points and 2.2 rebounds per contest, he has been a key part of Coppin State’s rotation this season. He has also done many of the little things that teams need to be successful like set screens, block out, take charges, play tough in the post and more.

“I would say my time here has been pretty good and I’ve grown a lot physically and mentally with the help of coach Mitchell,” Ieans said. “He uses a lot of off the court real life situations to teach us different things, which helps us. My game has grown a lot since I’ve been here. I got stronger and more athletic. When I first got here, I was kind of moving in slow motion, but with the coaches being on my back, I got more aggressive.”

Together, they will try to help the Eagles earn a season sweep of the Hawks. Coppin State controlled the final five minutes of the first meeting in Princess Anne on Feb. 8. The Eagles scored the last 11 points of the game to earn a 58-50 victory. Since that game, Coppin State has dropped two games to Morgan State, a game to Florida A&M and Norfolk State

Despite its overall record, UMES has been great on the offensive side of the ball as of late. The Hawks are averaging 79 points-per-game over their last five games. The 79 points per game average over the past five games is the most from a Hawk outfit in recent times, with the closest being in 2006 when UMES had a 75.8 average over five consecutive matches. The men have scored at least 72 points in every game of the span and have seen their season averages rise three points to 65.6.

The offensive spree has been generated by senior Troy Snyder, who is averaging 18.7 points and 9.0 rebounds in the past nine games. Snyder has scored at least 20 points in his last five games, including a career-high 34 against Howard on Feb. 15 in an 87-73 UMES victory.

Freshman Hakeem Baxter has earned the second-most MEAC Rookie of the Week honors in the conference this season, while freshman Devon Walker has scored at least 19 points in three of his last four games. Baxter, Snyder and junior KyRee Jones are all averaging double figures for the Hawks.

“Right now we are in a losing streak, we have to turn that around, and I believe we can do it,” Mitchell said. “I think Michael has to remain consistent, just as he has been for us. Our biggest problem is not the offense. We do score enough points to win games. But we do have to concentrate more on defense and rebounding.”

The way Armstrong sees it for the Eagles, there is still time remaining to achieve the ultimate team triumph. Coppin has battled the top teams tough this year and it was just a play or two from reversing the outcome. The Eagles will be a dangerous foe in a few weeks.

“We’re trying to leave a good legacy,” Armstrong said. “Coach hasn’t won a ring in a couple of years and that’s one thing we want to do. If you win a ring and get better then you’ll be remembered here forever. If you don’t, then there aren’t too many things people are going to remember you by unless it’s the people that were here with you. I want a ring bad. I feel accomplished if I get a ring. If not, it just feels like all I did was play here and that’s just unacceptable to me. I know we can accomplish that.”

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Coppin hopes to bounce back Saturday against Norfolk State

Posted on 21 February 2014 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE – The Coppin State men’s basketball team knows it has at least four games remaining: Three home regular season contests and at minimum, one game, in next month’s Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) tournament.

Anything beyond four games will be strictly up to how the Eagles perform over the next two weeks beginning Saturday afternoon when they host Norfolk State at 4:00 p.m. in a MEAC contest at the Physical Education Complex. The Eagles lost 82-71 to the Spartans on Jan. 20 and would like nothing more than to deliver a punishing payback.

Coppin State (9-17 overall, 6-7 MEAC) confidently believes that it will be the last team standing from the conference in March. The Eagles are talented and skilled. They have a road win at Hampton. Coppin State has also let a few late leads dissipate into defeats. So the Eagles won’t be an easy out for whoever they play. They had Morgan State wobbling for a period at raucous Hill Field House and enjoyed a seven-point second half lead before falling, 78-69 Wednesday night.

“The season hasn’t turned out the way we exactly wanted it to,” Coppin State junior forward Brandon St. Louis said. “We definitely believe our last three games are winnable. We are focused on finishing strong and heading into the tournament with momentum.”

Of course, once the madness of March commences, anything can happen. Nobody knows that better than Coppin State’s legendary head coach Ron “Fang” Mitchell, who has built his share of championship teams. He has witnessed more funny things and craziness during his 28 years at the helm of the Eagles than every Kevin Hart movie combined.

In 2008, the Eagles became the first team in the history of the NCAA championship to qualify for the tournament with 20 losses after winning four games in four days by a combined six points to win the MEAC tournament. That Coppin State squad led by Tywain McKee overcame a 4-19 start to the season to get to the tournament.

So things may not look good presently for the Eagles, who are riding a three-game losing streak, but the MEAC tournament offers hope and a fresh opportunity to experience that championship feeling. Anything is possible.

“We know we can compete against everybody in our conference,” St. Louis said. “It’s tough right now, but the good thing is everybody is still working hard and keeping a positive attitude. The whole team knows and feels that we are better than our record.”

St. Louis has had bursts of brilliance this season for the Eagles. He snatched eight rebounds against Morgan State Wednesday night. Earlier this year in a 91-71 win over UMBC, St. Louis was large and in charge for the Eagles as he stuffed the shat sheet with 12 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots.

He is quite simply a player that every team needs. St. Louis doesn’t need his name in lights. He enjoys during the dirty work, battling for loose balls and keeping possessions alive. In 22 games, St. Louis averages 4.9 rebounds per game, which is second on the team.

The Eagles have plenty of scorers led by senior Michael Murray, who averages 14.4 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. Both marks are team highs for Murray, who posted his fifth double-double of the season against Morgan State with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Senior guardAndre Armstrong is second on the team in scoring with a 12.4 point per game scoring average. Sophomore guard Sterling Smith contributes 11.2 points per outing for outing. Armstrong and Smith have combined to make 97 3-pointers.

St. Louis along with Murray, Arnold Fripp, Charles Ieans and many others will be counted on heavily to rebound. Former Laker and Knick coach Pat Riley always preached to his teams, “no rebounds, no rings.” The Eagles were challenged against Morgan State to do a better job of rebounding after the Florida A&M game. The Eagles were outrebounded by FAMU, 54-28. They improved significantly against Morgan State, only losing the board battle, 38-37.

The Eagles will need to be at their rebounding best against the Spartans, who are second in the MEAC in rebounding margin (+2.1 per game). Norfolk State won the rebounding battle, 42-31, against the Eagles in the first contest.

“We’re looking to try to rebound better against Norfolk this time,” St. Louis said. “The mindset is for us to just stay aggressive, get good position and go for every ball that goes up like it’s going to be a missed shot.”

Coppin State knows it has a great opportunity in front of it to fire a shot heard around the MEAC if it can trip up Norfolk State. The Eagles biggest win this year was against Hampton on the road. A few weeks later, the Eagles had the Pirates beat at home on Feb. 1 before falling in overtime.

Norfolk State dropped a 79-73 overtime decision to Hampton last Saturday. Senior Pendarvis Williams led all scorers with 18 points to go along with eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. Senior Brandon Goode added 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting, 10 rebounds and tied his career high with six blocks. Jamel Fuentes totaled 15 points, five assists and four rebounds, and senior Riley Maye also reached double figures with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting to lead the Spartans. For the game, the Spartans hit 24-of-63 (38.1 percent) after shooting 48 percent in the first half. HU connected on 24-of-58 (41.4 percent). The Spartans also hit 8-of-23 (34.8 percent) from 3-point range.

Malcolm Hawksins (16.7 points per game) and Williams (15.9) are sixth and eighth, respectively in the MEAC in scoring. Goode is the Spartans leading rebounder at 6.9 per game As a team Norfolk State leads the MEAC in scoring offense (74.2 points per game) and field goal percentage (46.8). The Spartans were the preseason MEAC favorites to win the conference. They are currently in third place, two games behind North Carolina Central, who has an 11-1 conference record.

For St. Louis, who will earn his accounting in May after completing three years of college, he is not taking the Eagles’ remaining games for granted.

“Graduating in three years means a lot to me because it shows that I was able to set a goal for myself and I was able to attain it,” St. Louis said. “It was a hard goal, but I was able make things happen and it just worked out for me. I feel very blessed every time I step out on the court. There aren’t a lot of people who get the chance to play Division I ball. I know a lot of people try. Every chance I get to play; I try to make the most of my opportunity. That’s what we’re looking to do as a team in these final three games.”

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Coppin faces tough road test Saturday at NC Central

Posted on 24 January 2014 by WNST Staff

Coppin State (6-12, 3-2 MEAC, 3-7 Road)
vs.
NCCU (12-5, 3-1 MEAC, 8-0 Home)

Jan. 25, 2014 – 4:00 p.m. (EST)
- McDougald-McLendon Gym (3,116) – Durham, N.C. -
Video/TV: NCCUEaglePride.com ($8.95)

THE GAME
North Carolina Central University enters the weekend winners of four straight looking for more as they welcome in the Eagles of Coppin State University for a Saturday MEAC doubleheader.  The maroon and gray have won four of the last five in the series, including last season’s 84-75 victory in Durham, N.C. on Jan. 26, 2013.

THE SERIES
NCCU and Coppin State are meeting for the ninth time since 1976 with the maroon and gray holding on to a 5-3 advantage in the series.  In fact, NCCU has won four of the last five meetings dating back to 2008.

SCOUTING REPORT:  COPPIN STATE
-Coppin State enters the weekend 6-12 overall, 3-2 in conference play following an 83-71 loss to Norfolk State on the road on Monday, Jan. 20.  In that contest, the Eagles shot 39.0 percent from-the-floor, including a 9-for-27 (33.3 percent) from beyond-the-arc.  Senior guard Andre Armstrong led Coppin with 20 points on 6-of-13 shooting from-the-field that included four three-pointers, along with two rebounds and one assist.  Sophomore guard  Sterling Smith finished with 13 points despite going 1-for-7 from three-point range, while point guard Taariq Cephas added 10 points in the loss.

-CSU is headed by the legendary coach Ron “Fang” Mitchell who has compiled an illustrious record of 423-409 in 28 seasons at the helm in the Charm City.  Mitchell has been in collegiate coaching for 36 years putting together an impressive mark of 650-456.  During his time, CSU has made four NCAA Tournament appearances, two NIT appearances, 10 MEAC regular season titles, had 45 student-athletes on the All-MEAC team, along with seven Eagles that have earned MEAC Player of the year honors.

-Coppin State and NCCU have met eight previous times with the maroon and gray Eagles holding a 5-3 lead in the series, including four of the last five matchups.

1/26/13- vs. Coppin State- 84-75 W
1/21/12- at Coppin State- 57-77 L
2/14/11- vs. Coppin State- 77-75 W
1/15/11- at Coppin State- 77-71 W
1/30/08- at Coppin State- 67-65 W
1/16/08- vs. Coppin State- 66-62 L

-CSU has three student-athletes who average double-figures led by 6-5 senior forward Michael Murray who averages 15.0 points a game along with 5.9 rebounds per contest to sit 10th in the MEAC in scoring, and 12th in rebounding.  The other two Eagles in double figures are Armstrong (12.6 points per game) and Smith (10.6 points per game), who is fifth in the MEAC in steals (1.6 steals per game) and three-point field goal percentage (38.8 percent, 31-for-80).  Sitting fourth in the league in assists, Cephas, averages 3.9 helpers per game, while  his teammate junior guard Daquan Brickhouse is tied for 14th dishing out 2.5 assists per game.  Brickhouse is also the No. 1 free-throw shooter in the MEAC at 89.6 percent (43-for-48).  His teammates, Armstrong (9th-81.4 percent) and Cephas (13th-78.7 percent) reside in the Top-15 in that category as well.

-As a team, Coppin State is currently sixth in the MEAC in scoring offense (69.4 points per game) while sitting 13th in the conference in scoring defense allowing 78.0 points a game.  CSU is the league’s top free-throw shooting team at 74.5 percent, just ahead of NCCU (72.0 percent).  The Eagles have hit 120 threes this season to tie Florida A&M for second in the league, but sit ninth in the conference in three-point field goal percentage.  The maroon and gray have made just 88 threes and have attempted 283, while Coppin State has attempted 388 shots from deep.

-The Eagles pulled off perhaps the biggest upset in the nonconference portion of the schedule as CSU upended the Pac-12 Beavers of Oregon State 78-73 on Nov. 10 in Corvallis, Ore.

NCCU VS. MEAC    
Throughout NCCU’s illustrious basketball history, the Eagles have taken on every team in the conference that it helped start back in 1970.  NCCU is 286-264 against MEAC opponents all-time.

Bethune-Cookman- 5-4
Coppin State- 5-3
Delaware State- 18-13
Florida A&M- 8-2
Hampton- 45-31
Howard- 36-26
Md. Eastern Shore- 18-16
Morgan State- 45-40
Norfolk State- 8-27
North Carolina A&T- 68-75
Savannah State- 6-8
SC State- 24-19

LOCKDOWN DEFENSE
In NCCU’s 84-44 win over arch-rival North Carolina A&T, the Eagle defense slowed the Aggie attack, holding A&T to 10 field goals in the game, shooting  22.7 percent from the field.  This was the second-least field goals for an opponent since the Eagles moved to the NCAA Division I level.  Here’s a list of the worst shooting performances by NCCU opponents.

9-48, 18.8%- Johnson & Wales (11/2/10)
10-44, 22.7%- NC A&T (1/22/14)
11-38, 27.1%- Wagner (11/24/12)
12-52, 23.1%- Va. Univ. of Lynchburg (1/8/13)

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Coppin eyes third straight win Monday at Norfolk State

Posted on 19 January 2014 by WNST Staff

NORFOLK, Va. - After dropping its first conference game in almost two years, the Norfolk State men’s basketball team will look to get back on track on Monday night as the Spartans host Coppin State at 8 p.m. at Joseph Echols Hall on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Media Coverage: Fans can listen to the game and watch the live video stream at the same time with the Spartan Showcase Video Streaming portal. Live stats will be available as well here.

Series History: NSU owns a 21-11 lead in the all-time series with Coppin State. The Spartans have won two in a row and eight of the last 10. NSU won both meetings last year, 75-68 at home and 80-70 up in Baltimore. Each of the last 14 meetings has been decided by 10 points or less.

About Coppin State: The Eagles own a 6-11 overall record and a 3-1 mark in conference play after downing Hampton 71-68 on Saturday. They also defeated Delaware State and South Carolina State this year while dropping a contest against league-leading Savannah State. Michael Murray leads the way with 15.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Andre Armstrong ranks second with 12.0 points, while teammate Sterling Smith also scores in double figures with 10.4. Taariq Cephis contributes 9.5 points and 4.1 assists. Opponents shoot 48 percent from the field and 38 percent from 3-point range, but the Eagles do a good job of getting to the free throw line and converting, hitting 74.4 percent from the charity stripe.

Last Time Out: Morgan State had a big edge in points off turnovers and second-chance points in defeating NSU 87-70 on Saturday at Echols Hall. The loss snapped NSU’s 23-game regular season conference win streak and also broke a six-game win streak against the Bears. Justin Black had 24 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while Anthony Hubbard added 22 points, nine rebounds and four assists for MSU. The Bears outscored the Spartans 29-7 in points off turnovers, as NSU had twice as many giveaways as MSU (18-9). Pendarvis Williams and Malcolm Hawkins added 16 and 15 points, respectively.

Back in the FoldRaShid Gaston competed in his first game in nearly two months when he played 20 minutes and totaled four points and two rebounds at Delaware State. He missed 13 games due to a torn meniscus and a partial tear of his ACL in his left knee suffered during practice on Nov. 17. Zieyik Estime, meanwhile, missed three games as well from Jan. 3-13 due to an ankle sprain.

Senior Leadership: NSU has scored 1,394 points this year, with 1142 of those points (81.9 percent) coming from NSU’s eight-player senior class.

Spartans in the MEAC: NSU is 4-1 this year in the MEAC and 33-4 since the start of the 2011-12 season.

Don’t Foul ‘EmMalcolm Hawkins and Pendarvis Williams have been on fire from the charity stripe lately. Hawkins has hit 45-of-49 from the free throw line over his last 10 games, while Williams has connected on 39-of-43 in the last 11 games. Hawkins had made 24 straight free throws before a miss at DSU, while Williams was 8-of-8 at UMES, including 4-of-4 in the last 20 seconds of the game. Hawkins, meanwhile, hit 5-of-6 in the last minute at DSU.

As a team, the Spartans are connecting on 71.5 percent from the foul line this year. Only once in the previous 30 years has NSU hit better than 70 percent from the free throw line in a season (72.0 percent, 2003-04). The all-time program record is 72.3 percent set in 1968-69.

Williams (83.9 percent) and Hawkins (83.8) are ahead of the program’s individual Division I record of 83.3 set by Ryan Grier in 2003-04. The all-time NSU record is 85.6 percent set by David Donerlson in 1991-92.

Rare CompanyPendarvis Williams is one of five all-time NSU players with at least 1,400 points, 400 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 steals along with Ralph Tally, Barry Mitchell, Tony Murphy and Michael Deloach. Williams needs 41 more rebounds to reach 500 for his career, and should he reach that mark he will join Tally and Mitchell as the only players to reach 1,400 points, 500 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 steals.

Dominating the Inside: Norfolk State has outscored opponents 660-517 in points in the paint, an average of 7.9 points per game. Against East Carolina, the Spartans had a 50-16 edge in points in the paint, and against Stillman that margin was 62-26. On the flip side, opponents have taken 114 more 3-pointers than NSU this year.

The Hawk: Senior Malcolm Hawkins has scored in double figures in every full game he’s played this year (He played only the second half at Delaware State). He had his fifth 20-point game of the year against Seattle with 22 points. His 16.7 per-game average currently ranks as the seventh-best in the Division I era (1997-Present) behind three players – Michael Deloach, Damian Woolfolk and Tony Murphy – who each became 1,700 career point scorers at NSU.

Taking Care of the Ball: NSU has had fewer turnovers than its opponent in 10 of the last 15 games.

Increased Production: Starting guard Jamel Fuentes has posted 8.8 points on 12-of-25 shooting with 4.3 rebounds and 6.5 assists in the last four games. He has also had at least four assists in the last 10 games. After scoring just six points all year, Kievyn Lila-St. Rose added a career-high 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting at UMES when NSU was down to just nine active players. Lila-St. Rose is averaging 6.0 points in the last four games.

Brandon Goode tallied 12.5 points on 21-of-31 field goals in four games from Dec. 30-Jan. 13. He has scored in double figures in 11 of the last 14 and is shooting 19-of-26 from the field over the last four games.

Hot HandsJamel Fuentes has a 61-19 assist-turnover ratio over his last 10 games.

MEAC Rankings: Several NSU players rank in the top 5 in the league, including Malcolm Hawkins, who ranks first in the league in 3-point shooting percentage (41.9). Other top 5 performances include Brandon Goode (2nd – 61.9 field goal percentage; 5th – 2.5 blocks, 6.8 rebounds), Jamel Fuentes (1st – 2.8 assist-turnover ratio; 2nd – 5.7 assists), Pendarvis Williams (5th – 83.9 free throw percentage) and Hawkins (4th – 40.0 3-point field goal percentage).

As a team, NSU ranks first in scoring offense (77.4), field goal percentage (49.0), 3-point field goal percentage (35.6) and opponent rebounding (32.7). The Spartans also stand second in assists (14.4), assist-turnover ratio (1.2) and offensive rebound percentage (36.0) and third in scoring margin (+0.6), free throw percentage (71.5), rebounding margin (+1.8) and defensive rebound percentage (66.0).

Hot Shooting: Thanks to a 35-of-53 effort over a five-game stretch from Nov. 26-Dec. 15, Pendarvis Williams is now currently shooting 50.2 percent (102-of-203) from the floor this year, including 62.4 percent (68-of-109) from inside the arc.

Brandon GoodeRiley Maye and RaShid Gaston, meanwhile, have combined to hit 149-of-244 (61.1 percent) from the floor this year. Maye and Anell Alexis have hit a combined 20-of-45 (44.4 percent) from 3-point range as well.

As a team, the Spartans are shooting 49.0 percent from the floor and 35.6 percent from 3-point range this year, the best marks in a season since 1994-95 (49.5 percent) and 1998-99 (35.7 percent), respectively.

Scoring Offense: NSU’s is scoring 77.4 points per game this year, the highest scoring season since averaging 86.3 per game in 1998-99.

Beginning the Climb: Sitting at No. 21 right now in the all-time scoring list at NSU with 1,402, Pendarvis Williams needs two more points to reach 20th all-time. From there he would need more than 130 points to get to the next spot.

Jamel Fuentes now has 353 career assists, which ranks eighth all-time at NSU. He needs six more to reach seventh place.

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Coppin welcomes South Carolina State to CSPEC Monday night

Posted on 12 January 2014 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE, MD—The South Carolina State men (5-10, 1-1 MEAC), will look to bounce back in the win column when they take on Coppin State (4-11, 1-1 MEAC) in a pivotal Mid-Eastern Athletic conference doubleheader, Monday at the Coppin Center. Tipoff is 7:30 p.m., immediately following the women’s game.

The Bulldogs dropped a tough, 73-56, decision to the Bears of Morgan State on Saturday to fall to 1-1 in the MEAC, senior All-MEAC forward Matthew Hezekiah led the way with 16 points and six rebounds. Meanwhile, freshman guard Jalen White added 12 in the loss.

“We don’t add any extra pressure on ourselves we just have to play Bulldogs basketball and take it one game at a time,” said SC State head coach Murray Garvin. “It’s not going to be easy playing a team that’s well coached by a legend (Coach Fang Mitchell) but we also have a good team and we will play our hearts out and leave it on the floor.

Hezekiah leads the team in scoring this season with 13.3 ppg and 5.7 rebounds. Senior guard Adama “Louis” Adams is second on the team behind Hezekiah with 9.5 points per contest. Sophomore forward Daryll Palmer leads the team in rebounds with 6.6 boards, while tossing in 7.7 points.

Coppin State dropped their second conference contest, 75-53, to Savannah State on Saturday. The Eagles is led by Michael Murray with 15.6 ppg, while teammates Sterling Smith and Andre Armstrong added a little over 10.0 points per outing.

–30–

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Coppin returns home Saturday to face Towson

Posted on 03 January 2014 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE, Md. – After spending the last four weeks on the road, out of the country and in the home state of LeBron James, the Coppin State University men’s basketball team is looking forward to starting a three-game homestand against cross-town rival Towson University Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. inside of the cozy Physical Education Complex.

Nobody would mind if the Eagle players clicked the heels of their sneakers three times and said, “There’s no place like home,” like Diana Ross did while sporting stylish silver high heels in “The Wiz.” The Eagles have played three home games this season and traveled more than 13,000 miles.

The Eagles (4-9 overall) will stay in Baltimore for a while as they begin the first of two season-long three-game homestands. This will be the Eagles first home game since Dec. 11 when they beat UMBC, 91-71. Coppin hosts an 8-6 Towson squad that has lost all five of its road games this season. One of those road losses was at Oregon State, a place where Coppin State won in its second game of the season.

Senior forward Michael Murray led the Eagles to a 64-61 triumph at Towson in last year’s meeting with 15 points and nine rebounds. Senior guard Andre Armstrong made four of Coppin State’s 10 3-pointers in the win. This is the fourth year in a row Coppin State and Towson is meeting each other. Although the Tigers lead the series, 6-5, the Eagles have won the last two matchups.

During its 77-66 loss to Akron on New Years Eve, Coppin State was led in scoring by Murray, who scored 19 points on 9-for-18 shooting from the field. Armstrong scored 13 points, senior forward Charles Ieans added 12 points and sophomore guard Sterling Smith contributed 11 points. It was the fourth time this season, Coppin State has had at least four players score in double figures.

Murray and Armstrong have been on fire for the Eagles over their last five games. They have been the team scoring leaders. Murray is averaging 15.5 points during that span. Murray has made at least 50 percent of his shots five times this season. Murray, who led the MEAC in rebounding last season, has pulled down at least four rebounds in seven straight games. Armstrong is averaging 11.8 points. He scored 15 points against Toledo and made four 3-pointers against Akron.

One of Coppin State’s strengths this season has been its free-throw shooting. The Eagles lead the MEAC in free-throw shooting percentage (76.0). Junior guard Taariq Cephas made 36-of-40 (90 percent) of his foul shots, including 22 straight. He is one of four CSU players shooting over 78 percent from the foul line: Daquan Brickhouse (28-for-33, 84.8 percent), Armstrong (37-for-45, 82.2), and Murray (25-for-32, 78.1).

In addition to Murray and Armstrong, sophomore guard Sterling Smith(11.2 points per game) and Cephas (10.4) also average double figures for the Eagles. Smith has made at least one 3-pointer in 11 games this season. He is third in the MEAC in 3-point shooting percentage (42.4 percent). Cephas also leads the Eagles with 54 assists, which is fourth in the conference.

Towson senior Jerrelle Benimon registered his fifth straight double-double with 24 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Tigers to their 12th straight home win, a 72-64 victory against New Hampshire Monday night. Benimon has eight double-doubles on the year and 28 in the last two seasons. He has five 20-point games this season, including two straight. Benimon scored 32 points to fuel the Tigers win over Temple earlier this season.

Also, in the win against New Hampshire, senior Marcus Damas was one of four Tigers in double figures with 11 points on 4-for-7 shooting from the floor and 3-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc. Senior Rafriel Guthrie and sophomore Timajh Parker-Rivera chipped in 10 points each. Senior Mike Burwell added eight points and a career-high nine assists in the win.

Overall for the Tigers, Benimon averages 17.3 points and 10.4 rebounds per contest. Also providing balance for Towson are Guthrie (11.5 points per game) and Damas (11.1). Towson averages 73.1 points per game.

Coppin State enjoys a week off before focusing exclusively on MEAC competition when it meets Savannah State on Jan. 11 at 4 p.m.

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