Tag Archive | "Coppin State"

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MEAC season continues for Coppin Saturday against UMES

Posted on 07 February 2014 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE – Sterling Smith’s most memorable moment of the season occurred on Sunday, Nov. 10 in front of family and friends. They watched as Smith dropped 21 points under the bright lights to help Coppin State beat Oregon State, 78-73, in one of the biggest wins in school history.

Since Smith exudes a laid-back California-cool personality off the court, he was pretty nonchalant following the victory. That demeanor is a stark contrast to the angry pit-bull like attitude and competitive fierceness he displays during games and the sheer intensity he shows in practice.

Last week, Smith displayed a different emotion, rage. He wasn’t excited about his career-high 24-point performance because it came in an overtime loss to Hampton, 79-76. Smith loves his family and winning.

While he looks forward to seeing his family and spending time with them, Smith is not exactly counting down the days to his next scheduled visit to the West Coast them during spring break. That’s because the Chino (Calif.) native hopes his plans include practicing for a NCAA tournament game that week.

With seven regular games remaining for Coppin State beginning Saturday at Maryland-Eastern Shore (4:00 p.m.), Smith knows there’s plenty of work to be done to help create a special memory that would surpass the thrill of the Oregon State game. Then his family can come see him play in an NCAA tournament game.

“It was cool to play in front of a lot of family members and friends when we played California and Oregon State,” Smith said. “I usually get home about twice a year. Once in the summer and during spring break. Hopefully, we’re playing during that week. I was able to spend time with my family when we went out to California and that was cool. The Oregon State game really boosted my confidence. To have such a big game against a big school really helped me out a lot.”

Smith’s game has been hot recently. He has developed into a rebounding machine. Only a sophomore, the 6 foot, 4 inch Smith has the potential to do some good things by the time he finishes his Coppin State career. Smith has grabbed 26 rebounds combined over the Eagles’ last three games, including nine each against Hampton and Delaware State.

Smith is the Eagles version of a Swiss-army knife because he’s third on the team in scoring (11.4 points per game), and rebounding (4.3 per game). Smith is third on the team in assists with 43 and blocked shots with six. He also leads the Eagles in steals with 29 and is second with 37 made 3-pointers. He does it all. Lately, he’s been focusing on rebounding because that’s what has been needed. For the season, Smith has scored in double figures 12 times and made at least one 3-pointer in 17 games.

“I always had a knack for the ball,” Smith said. “Coach (Ron “Fang” Mitchell) had a team meeting to let us know that rebounding wasn’t our strong suit, so he told us that we had to pick it up especially among the starters. I kind of took it upon myself to do that and get a lot of more boards. I feel like if I am not scoring that I can be more effective in other ways. I can always help the team out.”

His maturity, confidence and leadership have been a huge help to the Eagles this season. Smith is a smooth shooter when he’s in rhythm and has his legs under him. Smith prepped for a larger role this season by spending plenty of time in the gym with senior guard Andre Armstrong. They were like a new and improved version of Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes from “White Men Can’t Jump” as they drove up and down the East Coast playing in as many pick-up games as possible.

Armstrong and Smith are a pair of lethal wing players that can shoot holes through any zone defense in the world when they’re locked and loaded.

“I really worked hard over the summer because I wanted to make a difference next year,” Smith said. “Coming out of high school, I didn’t have a Division I scholarship, so I went to Redemption Christian in New York. I was playing in a tournament in New Jersey and coach Fang saw me. When I came here to Coppin State for my visit, I saw that it was a family environment, everybody was welcoming and it was a nice campus.”

Smith is still a relative newcomer to hoops. Growing up the future secret service agent loved soccer. He eventually gave up his dreams of being the next Pele in sixth grade when his dad got him into basketball. Smith was a quick learner and developed a reputation in high school for lighting up scoreboards. He is thankful to be at Coppin State. More importantly, Smith is a member of the Dean’s List and will graduate next May with his degree in criminal justice.

“Graduating in three years mean a lot to me,” Smith said. “I would be the first one in my house to get a degree.”

That’s another special moment Smith will be able to share with his family.

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Coppin plays host to reeling Delaware State Monday night

Posted on 02 February 2014 by WNST Staff

2013-14 DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY MEN’S BASKETBALL NOTES
HORNETS (4-16; 0-7 MEAC) VS. COPPIN STATE EAGLES (7-14; 4-4 MEAC)
MON., FEB. 3, 2014 – 7:30 p.m.
BALTIMORE, MD (PHYSICAL EDUCATION COMPLEX) – 4,100

Live TV: n/a
Live Audio:  n/a
Live Video :  www.coppinstatesports.com
Live Stats:  n/a
Twitter – DSUAthletics (@DSUAthletics)
Delaware State Interim Head Coach Keith Walker (Clemson, ‘81): 0-1 at DSU (first game); 91-102 career (eighth year); 0-0 vs. Coppin State

Coppin State Head Coach Ron Fang Mitchell (Edison State, ‘86): 424-411 at Coppin State and career (28th year); 34-20 vs. DSU

THE GAME
Delaware State wraps up a two-game road swing with a visit to MEAC rival Coppin State. The Hornets have dropped their last six games to fall to 4-16 overall and 0-7 in the MEAC. DSU is coming off a 77-64 loss to Morgan State on Saturday. The Hornets led 38-31 at the half, but was outscored 46-26 in the final 20 minutes. The undersized Hornets, playing their first game under interim head coach Keith Walker, led 57-56 before the Bears scored 21 of the last 28 points in the contest. Casey Walker was high scorer for the Hornets with 14 points, 10 coming in the first half. Walker has reached double figures in scoring in nine straight games and 13 of the last 14. Tyshawn Bell was the only other DSU player in double figures with 12 points.

Coppin State (7-14; 4-4 MEAC) has dropped three of its last four games, including a 79-76 setback to Hampton, in its last outing on Saturday. Sterling Smith led the Eagles with 24 points and nine rebounds in the Hampton contest, each a game high. Andre Armstrong added 13 points in the game for CSU. For the season, Michael Murray leads the Eagles in scoring at 14.6 points per game. Armstrong is second on the team in scoring at 12.8 points per game. Point guard Taariq Cephas averages 9.5 points and is fourth in the MEAC in assists at 4.2 per game.

DSU vs. COPPIN STATE SERIES HISTORY (CSU leads 42-37)
The Hornets and Eagles are meeting for the second time this season. Coppin State won the first contest 73-54 on Dec. 7 at Delaware State’s Memorial Hall. The Eagles were 27-of-51 from the field (52.9%), including 10-of-20 (50.0%) from three-point territory. The Hornets were 17-of-44 from the floor (38.6%) and seven-of-25 from beyond the arc (28.0%). Michael Murray led the Eagles with a game-high 28 points (11-15 FGs; 3-5 3pt FGs). Sterling Smith added 15 points for the Eagles. Casey Walker led three Delaware State players in double figures with 18 points. Kendal Williams added 16 points and Tyshawn Bell 12 for the Hornets. The last time the teams met at Coppin State, the Hornets posted an 84-81 win during the 2011-12 season. Casey Walker had a game-high 24 points, highlighted by six three-point field goals (6-for-10) in the contest.

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Coppin continues MEAC play Saturday against Hampton

Posted on 01 February 2014 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE – Michael Murray has rung up some impressive statistics during his time as a member of the Coppin State University men’s basketball team.

The Coppin State senior forward has earned plenty of accolades during his marvelous career such as being named Mid-Eastern Athletic Player of the Week earlier this season, leading the conference in rebounding last year and being selected to all-MEAC preseason team.

However, while all of those awards, points and rebounds are nice, Murray, who currently leads the Eagles in scoring (15.0 points per game) and rebounding (6.3 rpg.), is most proud of one number, in particular: 3.916. That’s his grade point average, which fills Murray with pride and keeps a smile on his face. Murray is one of Coppin State’s best and brightest student-athletes.

He’s a gentleman off the court and a monster on it.

“I’ve always been academics first because I was told when I was younger that academics can take you further in life,” Murray said. “I’ve gotten progressively better in basketball as I’ve gotten older and I know there could some opportunities in the future, but academics have always been at the forefront of everything for me. I come from a family that doesn’t take any stuff when it comes to academics. Everybody in my family strives to be the best at what they do, but it all starts in the classroom and that’s something that’s always stuck with me.”

Fans will be able to see Murray and the Eagles at home pretty frequently during the month of February beginning tomorrow afternoon against Hampton University in a key MEAC clash beginning at 4:00 p.m. at the Physical Education Complex.

Coppin State will leave the state of Maryland once between now and the time the MEAC tournament commences next month. The Eagles play six of their final nine games at home. Two of the three remaining road contests are at Maryland-Eastern Shore and Morgan State. That’s a good thing for the Eagles, who travelled over 14,000 miles in the first two months of the season.

The Eagles (7-13 overall, 4-3 MEAC) are currently in sixth place in the conference. They know with a strong weekend especially coming off a 70-54 road win at North Carolina A&T in their last outing, the Eagles could generate some momentum. Something not lost on Murray.

“It’s a great opportunity for us right now,” Murray said. “We are a game and a half from being in the top of the conference. These games are very important for us. We need to play consistently on defense to put together a nice run. We’re capable of it. If we’re all in tune defensively, then I believe we’ll be alright. I know I came into the North Carolina A&T game with a defensive mindset and trying to help us win the rebounding battle.”

A Brooklyn, New York native, Murray has endured some bumps on the basketball court this season. He missed the first two weeks of the season with a fractured hand. When he returned to the line-up against Michigan and Gonzaga, Murray wasn’t in shape to battle the top-20 powers. Then because of his incredible versatility, the 6 foot, 5 inch Murray has been playing different positions during various games depending on the match-ups. There are times when Murray has played small forward, which is natural position, and then there are other times, where he’s been forced to play bigger and stronger players in the post as a power forward.

Yet, through it all, Murray hasn’t complained and continued to shine. If men’s basketball coach Ron “Fang” Mitchell asked Murray to get water, deliver statistics to media members during timeouts and mop the floor, Murray would do it without hesitation especially if it helps the Eagles earn another victory.

“The season has been up and down for me personally,” Murray said. “I just want to become more consistent. I’ve played the 3 and 4 this year. Sometimes when I’ve played the 3, I’ve been able to attack more than when I am playing four. I am learning to pick my spots and as long as we win then I am happy. I want to win at the end of the day, so I’ll do what’s necessary to win.”

Even with playing all over the court, Murray has enjoyed some sterling moments this season. He scored a career-high 28 points to help the Eagles beat Delaware State, 71-52, on Dec. 7. Four days later in a 91-71 victory over UMBC, Murray scored 21 points. He notched his first double-double (20 points, 14 rebounds) of the season in a 75-69 win over South Carolina State. For the season, Murray has scored in double figures 11 times and scored 20 or more points five times.

An example of Murray’s team-first attitude occurred two weeks in the first meeting against Hampton, a 71-68 CSU win. Murray finished with three rebounds and nine points. He didn’t care. Murray was super excited about the win although you probably wouldn’t have known from his facial reaction since he describes himself as a “chill individual.” Overall, Murray is having a blast this season for the Eagles despite the adversity he’s endured. He sees everything as a positive.

“It’s been great,” Murray said. “I’ve been told that versatility is always welcomed. People will really look at that. I am not mad at not playing a specific position. It’s been a learning process for me this year and I am learning something new each day. When I first came back from my broken hand, I didn’t feel as strong, but I am beginning to get back to 100 percent.”

Fortunately for Murray and the Eagles, he is not forced to be a one-man show for Coppin to have success. The Eagles have plenty of talent on the court. Guards Andre Armstrong (12.6 points per game) and Sterling Smith (10.6) average double figures. They have combined to make 70 3-pointers this season. Junior guard Taariq Cephas scores at a 9.8 point per game clip. Cephas also leads the Eagles with 81 assists. Arnold Fripp made a trio of 3-pointers against A&T.

Coppin State is looking for a season sweep against Hampton and Delaware State. Even though the Eagles beat both teams earlier this year, they know that doing it again will be tough and require even a greater level of focus and execution on defense.

Hampton has won its last two games after beating South Carolina State Monday night as sophomore forward Jervon Pressley led four Pirates in double figures with a season-high 14 points and six rebounds. Senior guard Ramon Mercado added 12 points, six rebounds, and three blocks – two of which were key late. It was Pressley’s first game at Hampton in double figures. Senior forward Du’Vaughn Maxwell added 11 points, and sophomore guard Ke’Ron Brown chipped in 10 points.

Meanwhile, Delaware State enters Saturday’s game at Morgan State with five straight losses. Kendall Gray was high scorer for the Hornets with 14 points and led all players with 12 rebounds. He also had four blocks to give him 12 in the last two games. Gray has a team-high six double-doubles this season. Casey Walker chipped in 13 points for the Hornets. He has reached double figures in scoring in each of the last eight games. Coppin State leads the all-time series against Delaware State, 42-22.

Following this two-game homestand, the Eagles will travel to UMES next Saturday, Feb. 8 before returning home to meet Morgan State on Monday, Feb. 10.

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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 opens road swing Saturday at Hampton

Posted on 17 January 2014 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE – Arnold Fripp appreciates the practice battles with his good friend and teammate Michael Murray. Fripp likes being knocked around because the way he sees it, the consistent poundings and paint tutorials are only going to make the Coppin State University senior forward stronger and better.

“Even though I’ve known him since high school, he doesn’t cut me any slack,” Fripp said. “He’s helped me a lot and by him always going at me in practice, it’s prepared for the physical and tough games in the conference.”

Fripp and the Eagles hope that the aggressive player that scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds in a 75-69 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) win over South Carolina State makes many more consistent appearances as the Eagles head into the meat of their conference schedule.

Coppin State (5-11 overall, 2-1 MEAC) begin a tough four-game road trip with games against Hampton (8-8, 3-0) Saturday afternoon at 6 p.m. and Norfolk State (10-7, 4-0) Monday night at 8 p.m.

With Fripp and Murray playing together at a high level along with sharpshooting guards Andre Armstrong, Sterling Smith, Daquan Brickhouse, Taariq Cephas raining baskets from all over the gym, Coppin State has the ability and talent to be a factor in the conference. The Eagles knocked off Oregon State, 78-73 on Nov. 11 and Fripp’s 17-point performance was a big part of that triumph.

“We know what type of team we have and our record doesn’t show how good we are,” Fripp said. “Beating South Carolina State was big for us. We just have to continue to play with lots of energy and intensity going forward. This win was definitely a confidence builder for us.”

It was good to see Fripp rebound from consecutive scoreless outings against Towson and Savannah State with a strong effort. He was a key factor in helping Coppin State hold on to beat the Bulldogs. Fripp threw down a one-handed dunk to cap a 7-0 run that gave Coppin State the lead for good against South Carolina State. Then a few minutes later when the Bulldogs closed to within, 67-66, Fripp knocked down a short baseline jumper.

Overall, Fripp has scored in double figures seven times this season for the Eagles. In addition to his big performance against Oregon State, Fripp averaged 12 points during Coppin State’s two games in the British Virgin Islands against Southern Mississippi and Jacksonville State. The transfer from Monroe Community College started the season by grabbing at least seven rebounds in Coppin State’s first three games. He grabbed 10 rebounds against Richmond.

Fripp has always stood out on the basketball court and in a crowd. He had an earlier growth spurt than many of his peers. Fripp, who is a huge Bugs Bunny fan, didn’t take basketball seriously when he started playing the sport.

“I was always tall and I started hitting my growth spurt in seventh or eighth grade,” Fripp said. “I always loved basketball, but I never really took it that seriously. I got naturally good at it and that made my dedication stronger to the sport. It’s definitely a special feeling to be playing here at Coppin State.”

In a 73-60 victory over Delaware State last week, Hampton senior forward Du’Vaughn Maxwell led the Pirates with 21 points and eight rebounds. Redshirt-freshman guard Lawrence Cooks added 13 points, going 5-for-7 from the floor and hitting both 3-pointers. In beating Delaware State, the Pirates shot 70.4 percent (19-for-27) from the floor in the second half.

Maxwell leads the Pirates in scoring with a 13.2 point per game average and rebounding (6.5). Deron Powers scores at a 12.1 point per game clip and has a team-high 71 assists. Brian Darden chips in 9.3 points per game and leads the Pirates with 38 3-pointers. Overall, Hampton has won three of its last four games and is 5-1 at home.

The Eagles have their work cut for them against Norfolk State, which has won 23 consecutive regular season MEAC games after edging Delaware State, 58-56, Monday night. The Spartans lead the conference in scoring offense (77.9), field goal percentage (48.8), 3-point field goal percentage (34.8) and are second in assists per game (14.5).

Norfolk State is led by Malcolm Hawkins and Pendarvis Williams, who are fifth and ninth, respectively in the conference in scoring. Hawkins averages 16.8 points per game and Williams scores at a 15.8 point per game clip. Brandon Goode is third in the MEAC in rebounding (7.0 per game) and second in field goal percentage (61.8). Jamel Fuentes is second in the conference in assists (5.5). Like Hampton, the Spartans only have one loss at home this season.

Coppin State will be on the road against next weekend when it travels to North Carolina to meet Central and A&T.

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#WNSTSweet16 Best Local Sports Playoff Moments

Posted on 14 January 2014 by Luke Jones

After celebrating the greatest debuts in local sports history to kick off our #WNSTSweet16 discussion topics in 2014, it’s time to look back at the greatest local sports playoff moments that continue to stay with us no matter how long ago they occurred.

From the Colts, Orioles, and Ravens to the University of Maryland and local college lacrosse, there’s no shortage of playoff moments to consider as we look back at more than 60 years of big-league sports as well as other professional teams, collegiate history, and high school athletics in the area that go back even longer in some cases. Trying to narrow the list to just 16 was a daunting task itself with no disrespect intended to a slew of local playoff moments that didn’t make the cut.

In trying to pare down the list, two questions kept ringing in my mind: How did this moment make you feel? Did this moment resonate with most sports fans in the area? Admittedly, these questions make it extremely difficult for local college and high school moments to crack the list as even a number of memorable Colts, Orioles, and Ravens playoff moments failed to make the cut.

Some moments are centered around individual late-game heroics while others are the culmination of a dominating performance by a team on their way to championship glory.

We’ve been discussing the topic on AM 1570 WNST and on social media for the last couple days and will continue to do so.

Here’s the list of the WNST Sweet 16 Best Local Sports Playoff Moments:

16. Coppin State knocks off No. 2 seed South Carolina in the 1997 NCAA Tournament

You probably can’t name a single player from Fang Mitchell’s 1997 squad that became just the third No. 15 seed to win an NCAA tournament game, but it’s a moment worth including as Coppin State knocked off heavily-favored South Carolina in a convincing 78-65 final in Pittsburgh.

The 30-point underdogs were led by Danny Singletary and Antoine Brockington, who combined to score 42 points to outplay the Gamecocks’ formidable trio of BJ McKie, Larry Davis, and Melvin Watson. The Eagles would go on to fall by a single point to Texas in the second round of the tournament.

With college basketball possessing arguably the greatest playoff tournament of them all, Coppin State garnered national attention as one of the best examples of a true underdog triumphing in the history of Baltimore sports.

Continue to next page for No. 15

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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.

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Towson continues pursuit of first road win Saturday at Coppin State

Posted on 03 January 2014 by WNST Staff

TIGERS TRAVEL TO LOCAL RIVAL COPPIN STATE ON SATURDAY
Towson wraps up non-conference play at 4 p.m.

BALTIMORE, Md. — The Towson men’s basketball team will wrap up non-conference play on Saturday at Coppin State.

The Tigers, who have already defeated Navy, Morgan State and UMBC during non-conference play, will be attempting to go 4-0 against teams from Maryland this season.

Fans can listen to the game on the Towson Sports Network (TSN) with Dustin Semonavick calling the action.

Towson (8-6), still seeking its first win away from home, is coming off a 72-64 win over New Hampshire on Monday at SECU Arena.

Senior Jerrelle Benimon posted his fifth straight double-double with 24 points and 14 rebounds against the Wildcats. Classmate Mike Burwell dished out a career-high nine assists in the win.

Coppin State (4-9) has dropped five straight since starting the year 4-4. The Eagles did win at Oregon State onNovember 10 and they’re 2-1 at home this season.

Senior forward Michael Murray leads Coppin State in scoring at 15.1 points per game. The Eagles allow 79.1 points per game, last in the MEAC. They are also last in rebounding margin (-6.2), a stat that the Tigers rank 18th in the country in. Coppin State does average 6.3 three-pointers made per game, a number that ranks second in their conference.

Towson leads the all-time series against Coppin State, 6-5. However, the Eagles have won each of the last two meetings between the squads.

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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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