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

Posted on 14 March 2014 by WNST Staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Coppin opens MEAC Tournament play Tuesday against Bethune-Cookman

Posted on 10 March 2014 by WNST Staff

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announced its men’s pairings for the 2014 MEAC Basketball Tournament, March 10-15, at the Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia.  The North Carolina Central Eagles clinched the No. 1 seed after posting a conference record of 15-1.

North Carolina Central sealed the regular season title and the top seed with a 64-57 overtime win over Savannah State on Monday, March 3.  The title is the first for the Eagles men’s basketball program at the Division I level.

NCCU earned the first-round bye and will open up play on Wednesday, March 12 beginning at 6 p.m. They will face the winner of the No. 8 Howard/No. 9 North Carolina A&T State matchup set for Tuesday, March 11 at 4 p.m.

Men’s action starts on Monday with No. 4 Norfolk State taking on No. 13 Maryland Eastern Shore beginning at 6:30 p.m.  Savannah State (No. 5) faces off against South Carolina State (No. 12) at 9 p.m. to end the first day of competition.

Hampton earned the runners-up trophy with a 12-4 record and will face the winner of the No. 7 Coppin State vs. No. 10 Bethune-Cookman matchup scheduled for Tuesday, March 11 at 6:30 p.m.  Morgan State earned the No. 3 seed, following the tiebreaker against Norfolk State, to receive a two-day bye and will take on the winner of the No. 6 Florida A&M vs. No. 11 Delaware State game on Tuesday, March 11 slated for 9 p.m.

The 2014 regular season champion, regular season runners-up, first-team members and top honorees including Player, Rookie, Defensive and Coach of the Year selections, will be recognized in pre-game presentations prior to the honorees first games in tournament play.

The 2014 MEAC Basketball Tournament tips-off Monday, March 10, and will conclude on Saturday, March 15 with the men’s and women’s championship games.  The women’s game will start at 3 p.m. and will broadcast live on ESPN3 and tape-delayed on ESPNU beginning at Sunday, March 16, at 11 a.m. The men’s finale will begin at 6 p.m. and will broadcast live on ESPNU.  The preliminary games will also be streamed live on www.MEACsports.com.  Live statistics of all games will be available on the conferences’ official website and the tournament’s official website, www.MEAChoops.com.

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Morgan’s Black, Chiles; Coppin’s Murray named first team All-MEAC

Posted on 10 March 2014 by WNST Staff

NORFOLK, Va. – North Carolina Central senior guard Jeremy Ingram was named the 2014 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Player of the Year as announced by the conference on Monday.  Howard’s James Daniel was selected as Rookie of the Year and Hampton’s Du’Vaughn Maxwell garnered the Defensive Player of the Year honor.  North Carolina Central Head Coach Levelle Moton was named the MEAC Coach of the Year.

All awards are voted on by the conference’s head men’s basketball coaches and sports information directors.

Ingram averaged 20.2 points and 3.8 rebounds to lead the Eagles to a 15-1 conference mark and a regular season MEAC Championship. The Charlotte native scored at least 20 points in 16-of-30 games this season. Ingram, who earned MEAC Player of the Week four times, tallied 113 rebounds, 35 assists, 21 blocks, and 50 steals this season. He also added a season-high 38 points against Savannah State.

Daniel led the MEAC in scoring at 21.7 points, while shooting 40-percent from three on the season. Daniel recorded double figures in scoring in all 26 games this season and notched a career-high 38 points in against Hampton. Daniel garnered MEAC Rookie of the Week honors eight times.

Maxwell led the Pirates offense by scoring 14.9 points. Defensively, Maxwell registered 218 total rebounds (7.4 per game) and reached double figures in scoring 26 times and double-digit rebounds seven times. A two-time MEAC Player of the Week and six-time MEAC Defensive Player of the Week honoree, Maxwell finished with six double-doubles, including 20 points and 10 rebounds against Winthrop.

Moton earned the Coach of the Year after leading the NCCU Eagles to a 15-1 record in conference play and its first regular-season MEAC title. Moton also guided North Carolina Central to a 25-5 mark, including a win over N.C. State.

Ingram is joined on the 2014 All-MEAC First Team by Morgan State’s Ian Chiles and Justin Black, Coppin State’s Michael Murray, and Hampton’s Du’Vaughn Maxwell.

North Carolina Central clinched the MEAC regular season title with a 64-57 win over Savannah State. The Eagles will enter the tournament as the number one seed and will face the winner of the No.8 Howard vs. No. 9 North Carolina A&T matchup on Wednesday, March 12 at 6 p.m.

The 2014 regular season champion, regular season runners-up, first-team members and top honorees including Player, Rookie, Defensive and Coach of the Year selections will be recognized in pre-game presentations prior to their first games of the 2014 MEAC Basketball Tournament. Tournament play tips off March 10-15 at the Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia.

 

Coach of the Year: Levelle Morton, North Carolina Central University
Player of the Year: Jeremy Ingram, North Carolina Central University
Rookie of the Year: James Daniel, Howard University
Defensive Player of the Year:  Du’Vaughn Maxwell, Hampton University

 

FIRST TEAM

Name School Pos. Ht. Cl. Hometown
Jeremy Ingram North Carolina Central G 6-3 Sr. Charlotte, N.C.
Justin Black Morgan State G 6-2 Sr. St. Louis, Mo.
Michael Murray Coppin State F 6-5 Jr. Brooklyn, N.Y.
Du’Vaughn Maxwell Hampton F 6-7 Sr. Manhattan, N.Y.
Ian Chiles Morgan State C 7-2 Sr. Cliffside Park, N.J.

SECOND TEAM

Name School Pos. Ht. Cl. Hometown
Pendarvis Williams Norfolk State G 6-6 Sr. Philadelphia, Pa.
Jamie Adams Florida A&M G 5-10 Sr. Chicago, Ill.
Malcolm Hawkins Norfolk State F 6-5 Sr. Norfolk, Va.
Kendall Gray Delaware State F 6-10 Jr. Dover, Del.
Matthew Hezekiah South Carolina State C 6-11 Sr. Jacksonville, Fla.

THIRD TEAM

Name School Pos. Ht. Cl. Hometown
Emanuel Chapman North Carolina Central G 6-1 Sr. Raleigh, N.C.
James Daniel Howard G 5-11 Fr. Hampton, Va.
Lamont Middleton North Carolina A&T G 6-3 Sr. Bronx, N.Y.
Jyles Smith* Savannah State F 6-8 Sr. Fairburn, Ga.
Troy Snyder* Maryland E. Shore F 6-6 Sr. Chicago, Ill.
Brandon Goode Norfolk State C 7-0 Sr. Bronx, N.Y.

ALL-ROOKIE TEAM

Name School Pos. Ht. Cl. Hometown
James Daniel Howard G 5-11 Fr. Hampton, Va.
Hakeem Baxter Maryland E. Shore G 6-2 Fr. Philadelphia, Pa.
Clemmye Owens Bethune-Cookman G 6-1 Fr. Toledo, Ohio
DeAndre Haywood Delaware State G 6-2 Fr. Paterson, N.J.
Jeremiah Hill Savannah State G 6-1 Fr. Richmond Hill, Ga.

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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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Morgan, Coppin set for rivalry battle Wednesday at Hill Field House

Posted on 18 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Wednesday, Feb.19, 2014

Opponent: Coppin State Eagles (9-16, 6-6 MEAC)
Site: Hill Field House, Baltimore, Md.
Game Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
MSU Coach: Todd Bozeman (138-113 – 8th yr)
Websites: www.MorganStateBears.com / www.coppinstatesports.com

BEARS SET TO FACE COPPIN STATE WEDNESDAY

The Morgan State Bears, winners of four of its last five games, returns to Hill Field House this Wednesday to host crosstown rival Coppin State (9-16, 6-6 MEAC) at 7:30 p.m.  This will be the second meeting between the crosstown rivals in the last nine days.

SCOUTING COPPIN STATE

The Eagles welcomed back seven veterans, including four starters, from a squad that posted an 8-24 overall record, and finished in ninth place in the MEAC stadnings. Michael Murray is one of three Eagles averaging double-figures. The senior is averaging 14.0 ppg, followed by Andre Armstrong (13.0) and Sterling Smith (11.2). Murray also leads the Eagles on the glass by averaging 6.7 rebounds per contest (ranks No. 8 in MEAC). Ron “Fang” Mitchell enters his 28th season as the Eagles’ head coach where he currently holds a 426-412 record (.508 winning pct.). Reggie Lewis scored 24 points, including six 3-pointers, as Florida A&M overpowered Coppin State in the second half, winning 82-71 on Saturday. Coppin State (9-16, 6-6 MEAC) shot just 38 percent from the field and was led in scoring by Sterling Smith with 20 points. Andre Armstrong had 19 points and Michael Murray recorded 11 points and 13 rebounds.

LAST TIME VS. THE EAGLES

March 10, 2014 — Justin Black and Ian Chiles scored 23 points apiece on Monday as Morgan State won its fourth straight game against cross-town rival Coppin State, 82-77. Chiles had five blocks for Morgan State. Black made nine of his 14 shots and had seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Anthony Hubbard added 15 points, on 7-of-11 shooting, for the Bears.

WE MEET AGAIN: The Morgan State Bears will square off against the Eagles for the 77th meeting between the two. Coppin State holds a 51-25 advantage, however the Bears have won the last four meetings. Todd Bozeman holds a 13-4 record against the Eagles since becoming MSU’s head coach in 2006.

THREE IN DOUBLE FIGURES

Thru 23 games last season, three Bears averaged more than 10 points a game. Justin Black leads with by averaging 19.1 ppg (No. 3 in MEAC), Ian Chiles averages 15.3 points per game, while Anthony Hubbard is averaging 11.0 points and leads the squad averaging 6.8 rpg (No. 6).

BLACK A MEMBER OF THE 1,000 POINTS CLUB 

Senior guard Justin Black eclipsed the 1,000 point mark for his career as a result of his 24-point outing against Cal State Northridge (12/27) … Black recently moved in front of Damone Williams (1,207 pts – 1986-90) as the school’s No. 15 leading scorer with 1,239 career points.

POUNDING THE PAINT

Morgan State is eager to get the ball inside this season, even more so than normal. Through 11 conference games, MSU leads the MEAC averaging 75 points per game, including 15 points in the paint. This includes a dominating 50-22 edge in the paint at Hampton (1/20), and 42-20 advantage at Coppin State (2/10).

THEIVES IN THE NIGHT

Two Bears are averaging better than 1.0 steals per game – Justin Black (2.1 – ranks No. 2 in MEAC), and Donte Pretlow (1.4 – No. 9). Morgan State is also No. 5 in the MEAC by averaging 7 steals per game.

TOUGH IN THE PAINT

Ian Chiles and Thair Heath are shooting better than .500 from the field this year. Thru the first 23 games Chiles is shooting 55.9 pct (ranks No. 5 in MEAC). Heath is shooting 54.2 pct., while frontcourt teammate The Bears are among the top teams in the MEAC ranked No. 3 in field goal percentage (.428).

WELCOME TO MY BLOCK PARTY

Ian Chiles has been making the most of his 7-foot-2 frame. The senior recorded a career-high 9 blocked shots against Norfolk State on Feb. 8. He’s currently ranked No. 2 in the MEAC averaging 3.1 rejections per contest (71) and now has 170 career blocks.

THE ALMOST-TRIPLE-DOUBLE

Despite the loss against Norfolk State (Feb. 8), Ian Chiles had a strong effort and came close to finishing with the oh so rare — triple-double. “Big Slew” completed the night with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting, grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and notched a career-high nine blocked shots … one rejection short a triple-double.

A BLOSSOM ON THE OFFENSIVE GLASS

Cedric Blossom leads the Bears with 62 offensive rebounds thru the first 23 games. The sophomore has started in every game and is averaging 6.7 ppg, 5.2 rebounds in 22.7 minutes. He had a sensational game at UMES (Feb. 17) where he posted a career-high 20 points and 11 rebounds — it marked the second double-double of his career.

THE 3-HEADED GRIZZLY

In the first 11 conference matchups this season Justin BlackIan Chiles and Anthony Hubbard have scored 509 points, while the rest of the squad has produced 350 points. In the blowout of Howard, the trio combined to score 39 points with Black scored a team-high 17 points. Against Coppin State, the trio accounted for 61 of the Bears’ 82 points with Black and Chiles leading the way with 23 apiece. The trio has totaled 1,043 of the team’s 1,703 points, 61 percent of the team’s scoring load.

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Coppin continues MEAC push Saturday at Florida A&M

Posted on 14 February 2014 by WNST Staff

BALTIMORE – The Coppin State men’s basketball team believes its best hoops are ahead of it. With five regular season games remaining, the Eagles are confident they can do some damage and finish as the last team standing during next month’s Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) tournament.

The Eagles (9-15 overall, 6-5 MEAC) will look to take a step in that direction as they travel to meet Florida A&M (8-16, 4-7) Saturday night in the Al Lawson Center at 7:00 Eastern time. The game will begin at 6:00. This will be the Eagles first trip to Florida’s capital city since 2011.

Coppin State senior forward Michael Murray is the only Eagle who has played at FAMU and he remembers his visit like it was yesterday.

“It was a crazy atmosphere and tough playing there,” Murray said. “FAMU always has good teams. They always play hard and they compete with anybody in the league, so we have to be ready for them. I think for us, we play better on the road. I feel we play with more energy and play hard. We know we’re going to have to match FAMU’s intensity and energy and if we do that I think we’ll give ourselves a chance to win the game.”

Coppin State has won its last two conference road games and it will look to continue its swagger on foreign courts.

The Eagles bounce back from tough defeats well and they will be facing a Rattler squad that has lost five of its last six games. Coppin State is coming off a tough 82-77 loss to Morgan State in which it made an uncharacteristic 4 of 20 shots from 3-point distance. Meanwhile, FAMU enters off a 92-49 defeat to MEAC leader North Carolina Central.

“We felt like we should have won the Morgan game,” Murray said. “We’re just looking to bounce back. We’re a tough team. If we can get a win Saturday, it will help us. If you look at our stats, I think our road stats are better than what we do at home.”

The Eagles average the same amount of points wherever they play: 67.7 on the road and 67.0 at home in five conference games. CSU also shoots the same percentage in the home whites or the blue away jerseys: 38.8 percent on the road and 38.5 at home. So the biggest difference is in the 3-point shooter where the Eagles have made 23 more triples on the road than at home.

Lately, the Eagles have done their best work away from Baltimore. Perhaps, they enjoy the Chik-Fil-A meal stops, the flat screen televisions in the hotel rooms or just sending the home fans into the chilly winter night with frowns of their faces. Whatever the reason, Coppin State seems to be relaxed on the road.

In compiling a 4-2 record in conference road games, Coppin State has four players averaging double figures led by senior guard Andre Armstrong’s 15.3 point per game average. Senior Michael Murray has scored 14.2 points and grabbed 8.2 rebounds per outing on the road. Sophomore Sterling Smith (11.3 points per game) and junior guardTaariq Cephas (11.0) have also enjoyed special moments in opposing MEAC gyms.

The quartet has also combined for 45 made 3-pointers. Murray and Armstrong have made at least 40 percent of their shots on the road. Cephas had his first career double-double (12 points, 10 assists) against Delaware State on Dec. 7 in Dover. Junior Daquan Brickhouse scored a career-high 18 points on Jan. 18 in a win at Hampton. Murray burned Delaware State for a career-high 28 points.

Against North Carolina A&T on Jan. 27, the Eagles made a season-high 13 3-pointers and raced to a 31-7 lead. In its last road game at Maryland-Eastern Shore, Coppin State’s defense rose to the occasion late by holding the Hawks scoreless for the final five minutes of the game. Murray also recorded his third double-double of the season (10 points, 10 rebounds). Smith and Brandon St. Louis combine for 8.3 rebounds on the road this season.

Defensively in their six away conference contests, the Eagles have held three teams below 60 points, including its last two opponents.

“We’re going on the road and we’ll be ready to play,” Coppin State head coach Ron “Fang” Mitchell said. We haven’t had as much success at home this season. I just think my guys understand being on the road. They know it’s a tough situation for them and a tough venue we’re going to so they gear their minds to compete at a higher level. I look for them to be ready to play and accept the challenge.”

In the loss against Morgan State, the Eagles never quit and gave themselves an opportunity to win the game at the end. Cephas flirted with a triple-double as he finished with 17 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. Murray contributed 21 points and eight rebounds. Armstrong scored in double figures for the 13th straight game by finishing with 11 points.

Meanwhile, FAMU had a tough night in Durham against NCCU, who earned a measure of revenge after suffering its only conference defeat on Jan. 11 to the Rattlers, 63-60. Jamie Adams led three FAMU players in double figures with 12 points against NCCU. Scoring 10 points each for the Rattlers were Reggie Lewis and Trey Kellum.

Adams (16.5 points per game) and Lewis (11.5) lead the Rattlers in scoring. They have combined for 98 3-pointers. Kellum scores at a 9.1 point per game clip and leads FAMU in rebounding (6.3 per game). Jomari Bradshaw is another 3-pointer shooter to keep an eye on as he has made 21 or the season and is averaging 8.9 points per contest. The Rattlers are 6-2 at home this season.

“I understand that they have some shooters and they rebound the ball very well,” Mitchell said. “We’re going to have to be able to play better defense, find their shooters and rebound the ball. We know that they’re a pressing team and we’re going to have to take care of the ball.”

Coppin State will spend the remainder of its regular season in snowy Baltimore. It will play its final away contest Wednesday night against Morgan State before ending the season with three straight home games against Norfolk State, UMES and Howard.

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Morgan, Coppin renew historic rivalry Monday night

Posted on 09 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Monday, Feb.10, 2014

Opponent: Coppin State Eagles (9-14, 6-4 MEAC)
Site: The Physical Education Complex, Baltimore, Md.
Game Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
MSU Coach: Todd Bozeman (136-113 – 8th yr)

BALTIMORE, Md. — After a tough loss Saturday night, the Morgan State Bears (8-13, 6-3 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) will make a short trip when they face cross-town rival Coppin State (9-14, 6-4 MEAC) on Monday at 7:30 p.m.  This will be the first meeting of the regular season between the Bears and Eagles. Tip-off is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m.

SCOUTING THE EAGLES
The Eagles welcomed back seven veterans, including four starters, from a squad that posted an 8-24 overall record, and finished in ninth place in the MEAC stadnings. Michael Murray is one of three Eagles averaging double-figures. The senior is averaging 13.8 ppg, followed by Andre Armstrong (12.8) and Sterling Smith (11.0). Murray also leads the Eagles on the glass by averaging 6.3 rebounds per contest (ranks No. 10 in MEAC) . Ron “Fang” Mitchell enters his 28th season as the Eagles’ head coach where he currently holds a 426-411 record (.509 winning pct.). Sterling Smith scored 12 points with four rebounds to lead Coppin State to a 58-50 victory over Maryland-Eastern Shore on Saturday. Andre Armstrong came off the bench to score 13 points for the Eagles, while Michael Murray added 10 points and 10 rebounds.

LAST TIME VS. COPPIN STATE

Feb. 27, 2013 — Blakle Bozeman scored a career-high 16 points to go with eight assists and five other Morgan State players scored in double-figures in the Bears’ 86-68 win over Coppin State at Hill Field House. DeWayne Jackson and Shaquille Duncan tallied 14 points, Justin Black 13, Anthony Hubbard 11, and Ian Chiles 10. Duncan also pulled down 11 boards for Morgan State, which outrebounded the Eagles 38-32.
THREE IN DOUBLE FIGURES

Thru 21 games last season, three Bears averaged more than 10 points a game. Justin Black leads with by averaging 18.7 ppg (No. 3 in MEAC), Ian Chiles averages 14.7 points per game, while Anthony Hubbard is averaging 10.9 points and leads the squad averaging 6.8 rpg (No. 5).

BLACK A MEMBER OF THE 1,000 POINTS CLUB 

Senior guard Justin Black eclipsed the 1,000 point mark for his career as a result of his 24-point outing against Cal State Northridge (12/27) … Black recently scored 16 points and moved in front of James Hall (1,191 pts – 1963-67) as the school’s No. 16 leading scorer with 1,192 career points.

POUNDING THE PAINT

Morgan State is eager to get the ball inside this season, even more so than normal. Through nine conference games, MSU leads the MEAC averaging 74 points per game, including 15 points in the paint. This includes a dominating 50-22 edge in the paint at Hampton (1/20).

THEIVES IN THE NIGHT

Two Bears are averaging better than 1.0 steals per game – Justin Black (2.1 – ranks No. 2 in MEAC), and Donte Pretlow (1.4 – No. 7). Morgan State is also No. 5 in the MEAC by averaging 7 steals per game.

TOUGH IN THE PAINT

Ian Chiles and Thair Heath are shooting better than .500 from the field this year. Thru the first 21 games Chiles is shooting 53.6 pct (ranks No. 6 in MEAC), while frontcourt teammate Heath is shooting 54.2 pct.  The Bears are among the top teams in the MEAC ranked No. 4 in field goal percentage (.415).

WELCOME TO MY BLOCK PARTY

Ian Chiles has been making the most of his 7-foot-2 frame. The senior recorded a career-high 9 blocked shots against Norfolk State on Feb. 8. He’s currently ranked T-No. 2 in the MEAC averaging 3.0 rejections per contest (63) and now has 162 career blocks.

THE 3-HEADED GRIZZLY

In the first nine conference matchups this season Justin BlackIan Chiles and Anthony Hubbard have scored 394 points, while the rest of the squad has produced 295 points. In the blowout of Howard, the trio combined to score 39 points with Black scored a team-high 17 points. Against Norfolk State, the trio accounted for 35 of the Bears’ 53 points with Black leading the way with 16. The trio has totaled 928 of the team’s 1,483 points, 63 percent of the team’s scoring load.

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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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