Tag Archive | "Coppin State"

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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

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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.

–30–

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 07 January 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-Wake Forest @ Maryland (Thursday 7pm Comcast Center); Boxing: Arash Usmanee vs. Juan Antonio Rodriguez (Friday 9pm from Tacoma, WA live on ESPN2)

10. Jimmie’s Chicken Shack (Friday 9pm Rams Head Live); Dirty Dozen Brass Band (Thursday 8pm Rams Head on Stage); Cracker (Saturday 6pm 9:30 Club); Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder (Friday & Saturday 7:30pm Birchmere); Peter Gabriel “Scratch My Back & I’ll Scratch Yours” available in stores/on iTunes (Tuesday)

JCS is celebrating the 15th anniversary of one of the most important records OF MY LIFE.

I would like to go see Dirty Dozen Brass Band, yes, thanks for asking.

Cracker does that one song you kinda remember.

And now here’s Ricky Skaggs.

9. Blue Man Group (Friday-Sunday France-Merrick Performing Arts Center at The Hippodrome); Jim Gaffigan (Friday & Saturday 7pm & 9:30pm Warner Theatre); Rob Schneider (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); “Archer” season five premiere (Monday 10pm FX); Lone Survivor“, “Her” and “August: Osage County” out in theaters (Friday); Baltimore County Restaurant Week (Friday-Monday throughout Baltimore County)

Obviously the only thing that matters this week is the return of Archer. Enjoy the next eight minutes of your life. They won’t get better.

Also, this is great.

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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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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 31 December 2013 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: Women’s College Basketball-Maryland @ North Carolina (Sunday 3pm from Chapel Hill, NC live on ESPNU); Boxing: Argenis Mendez vs. Rances Bartholemy (Friday 9pm from Minneapolis live on ESPN2); MISL: Baltimore Blast @ Pennsylvania Roar (Tuesday 5:05pm from Reading, PA live on YouTube), Missouri Comets @ Baltimore Blast (Friday 7:35pm from Baltimore Arena live on YouTube), Pennsylvania Roar @ Baltimore Blast (Saturday 7:35pm from Baltimore Arena live on YouTube)

10. Jeezy (Tuesday 10pm Baltimore Arena); Keller Williams (Tuesday 9pm Rams Head Live), Badfish: A Tribute to Sublime (Friday 8pm Rams Head Live); Slightly Stoopid (Tuesday 9pm Fillmore Silver Spring), Wale (Wednesday 8pm Fillmore Silver Spring); Musiq Soulchild (Tuesday 11pm Howard Theatre); Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue (Tuesday 9pm 9:30 Club); Rusted Root (Sunday 8pm State Theatre)

People I know enjoy Keller Williams. That’s the extent of the discussion I have to offer here.

Wale is a Washington Football Club fan, yet somehow I don’t hate him. It’s really odd.

Remember when I posted a video of Trombone Shorty last week? This one is decidedly different.

Rusted Root is that band that never thought they’d be best known for a rental car commercial.

9. Baltimore New Year’s Eve Spectacular (Tuesday 9pm Inner Harbor); Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” out in theaters (Friday); New season of “Community” debuts (Thursday 8pm NBC); Don Jon” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

I mean…I’m so more than ready.

Also, what’s the age when you can stop pretending like you hate the sauerkraut your family serves with pork on New Year’s Day and admit you actually REALLY like it? 30 okay?

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Coppin pays visit to undefeated Toledo Saturday

Posted on 27 December 2013 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE, Md. – Fresh off of a four-day break to enjoy the Christmas holiday, the Coppin State men’s basketball team returned to practice Thursday to start preparations for a difficult trip to Ohio to meet Mid-American Conference schools Toledo and Akron.
The Eagles (4-7 overall) face undefeated Toledo (11-0) in a Saturday matinee at Savage Arena beginning at 2:00 p.m. This is the fourth stop on a season-high five-game road trip for Coppin State. The Eagles lost a pair of games last weekend at the BVI Tropical Shootout in the British, Virgin Islands to Southern Mississippi (88-74) and Jacksonville State (72-61).
Coppin State has never lost to Toledo, winning both meetings against the Rockets, 77-73 in overtime (1989) and 87-66 (1990). Overall, Coppin State is 5-6 all-time against schools from the Mid-American Conference. The Eagles aren’t approaching this game any differently because Toledo is one of nine NCAA Division I men’s basketball teams without a loss.
“We don’t look at this game any differently than we would any other one,” Coppin State head coach Ron “Fang” Mitchell said. “It’s the biggest game of the year because it’s our next one. For us it doesn’t matter who the opponent is because you’re out there to win the game. My guys know that if we don’t play hard and execute that we could have some problems.”
Coppin State senior forward Michael Murray averaged 18 points per game in both games last weekend. He scored a team-high 23 points against Southern Mississippi. Murray has led CSU in scoring in its last five games. In the two games against Southern Miss and Jacksonville State, Murray shot 52 percent (13 for 25). Overall, for the season, Murray is one of three Coppin State players averaging double figures. He leads the team in scoring with a 15.7 point per game average.
Also averaging double figures for the Eagles are sophomore guard Sterling Smith (12.3 points per game) and junior guard Taariq Cephas (11.5). Smith has scored in double figures seven times this season for the Eagles. He had a season-high 21 points to fuel Coppin State’s upset of Oregon State on Nov. 10. Cephas leads the Eagles with 49 assists. He had his first career double-double with 12 points and 10 assists against Delaware State on Dec. 7.
Cephas is also one of the best foul shooters in the nation as he has made 36-of-40 free throws, including 22 straight. His 90 percent success rate leads from the charity stripe the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. He was 10-for-10 from the foul line against UMBC on Dec. 11. Junior guard Daquan Brickhouse is fourth in the MEAC in free-throw percentage as he has made 24-of-29 free throws (82.8 percent).
During its two games in the British Virgin Islands, Coppin State averaged 28 free-throw attempts per game. The Eagles are ranked 21st nationally in free-throw shooting percentage. Senior guard Andre Armstrongaveraged 9.5 points per game in the two games and was 9-for-10 from the foul line against Southern Mississippi.
Meanwhile, Toledo is 11-0 for the first time since the 1966-67 season following its 71-67 victory over Cleveland State last Saturday. Toledo junior J.D. Weatherspoon scored a career-high 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the win for the Rockets, who are the first MAC school to be 11-0 since Ball State in 1998-99. Joining Weatherspoon in double digits was sophomore center Nathan Boothe (14 pts., 8 reb.) and senior guard Rian Pearson (11 pts., 5 reb.).
In addition to moving up into the No. 3 spot in CollegeInsider.com’s Mid-Major Poll rankings, the Rockets received considerable support in this week’s Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls. UT received 27 points in the Associated Press Poll, 24 more than last week’s total and received 13 points in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 poll.
Only Wichita State (12-0) and Harvard (10-1) were ranked ahead of Toledo in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll with the Rockets (717 pts.) trailing Harvard (720 pts.) by just three points. Also appearing in the poll’s Top 10 were No. 4 Gonzaga (10-2), No. 5 Saint Mary’s (9-1), No. 6 Manhattan (9-2), No. 7 Indiana State (8-3), No. 8 Green Bay (8-3), No. 9 Princeton (9-2) and No. 10 Drexel (8-3).
All five of Toledo’s starters are averaging in double figures in the scoring column, led by senior Pearson at 16.1 ppg. He is followed by junior guard Justin Drummond (14.9 ppg), junior guard Julius Brown (12.8 ppg), Weatherspoon (11.3 ppg) and Boothe (10.7 ppg).
Coppin State concludes its five-game road trip with a matchup Tuesday against Akron beginning at 6 p.m.

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Coppin tries to stay hot Saturday at Richmond

Posted on 13 December 2013 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE, Md. – The Coppin State University men’s basketball team will add some more frequent traveler miles to its ledger when it makes the three-hour bus trip down Interstate 95 to meet the University of Richmond at the Robbins Center Saturday night. Tip off for the non-conference contest is at 6 p.m.
The game will be joined in progress on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic Plus.
The Eagles have traveled often this season thanks to a pair of trips across the continent in a four-week period. Coppin State will not play at home again until after the ball drops in Times Square. The game against Richmond begins a stretch of five straight road games to close out 2013.
Coppin State (4-4 overall) will look to extend its winning streak to three games while Richmond (7-3) will try to bounce back from an overtime loss to Wake Forest in its last outing. Coppin State and Richmond have met once and that was on Nov. 30, 2008 with the Spiders coming away with a 78-67 victory.
While the on-court history is basically non-existent, Richmond and Coppin State share a special bond because they have won NCAA tournament games as No. 15 seeds and eliminating highly regarded No. 2 seeds in the process. Richmond beat Syracuse in 1991 and Coppin State took out South Carolina in 1997. Those memories are forever cherished in the NCAA’s “One Shining Moment: 1987-2011” DVD.
The Eagles are flying high entering this matchup. Fresh off of a pair of victories over Delaware State and UMBC, Coppin State’s offense is rolling. In their last two games, the Eagles have recorded 34 assists and made 21 3-pointers. In its 91-71 win over cross-town foe UMBC, all five starters for Coppin State reached double figures in scoring led by senior forward Michael Murray’s 21 points. The reigning Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference player of the week, Murray has scored at least 20 points in consecutive games for Coppin State.
Junior guard Taariq Cephas had 18 points and eight assists. He has 18 assists in Coppin State’s last two games. Sophomore guard Sterling Smith and senior forward Arnold Fripp were efficient as each player took nine shots to finish with 17 and 15 points, respectively against UMBC. Junior forward Brandon St. Louis scored 12 points, grabbed nine rebounds and blocked a season-high five shots.
Murray leads the Eagles in scoring with a 15.3 point per game average despite missing the first four games of the season. Smith has scored in double figures in seven games this season and is second on the team with a 14.8 point per game average. Cephas leads the Eagles in assists with 39 and averages 11.8 points per contest. Fripp chips in 9.9 points per outing for Coppin State, which is 4-0 this season when it records 10 or more assists.
“We have a lot of scorers on our team,” Smith said. “We’re learning to play with each other and we’re making progress with each game we play. However, we know that the key for us in this game is playing defense and getting stops.”
The Eagles will definitely need their defense as the Spiders are a pretty formidable bunch especially at home in Virginia’s capital city along the James River. This is the opener of a three-game homestand for Richmond, which played five of its last six games on the road. The Spiders are 4-1 at home this season and have won 41 of their last 47 non-conference home games.
Richmond’s defense has been stingy this season, allowing 64.5 points per game, which ranks third in the Atlantic 10. The Spiders have held the opposition to 61 points or less in regulation in five straight games. The Spiders are second in the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage (.392) and are fourth in the Atlantic 10 and 26th in the nation in field goal percentage defense (.274).
Senior guard Cedrick Lindsay leads the Spiders and is second in the Atlantic 10 in scoring at 18.2 points per game. He has scored in double figures in 20 of the Spiders’ last 24 games. Also averaging double figures for Richmond is junior guard Kendall Anthony (11.5 points per game) and sophomore forward Terry Allen (10.1 ppg.). Allen is also the Spiders’ leading rebounder (6.5).
Coppin State welcomes the opportunity to compete against a Richmond program that advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2011. The Eagles have already played Pac-12 schools California and Oregon along with Top 25 giants Michigan and Gonzaga this season. Smith believes the Eagles are in a better place heading into this matchup.
“The Michigan and Gonzaga games were humbling experiences for us,” Smith said. “You go into those games thinking you can compete and unfortunately we didn’t compete at all. Not saying that we can’t, but we didn’t in those two games. Those games were a wake-up call for us. Everybody is on the same page now. Right now, we’re playing as a team and we’re looking to keep getting better.”
Coppin State will meet 8-1 Southern Mississippi in the BVI Tropical Shootout Friday at 10 p.m. The other half the bracket in that tournament features Jacksonville State against Arkansas-Little Rock. Meanwhile, Richmond will host Ohio University on Sunday, Dec. 22.
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