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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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Navy makes first visit to Toledo since 2001 Saturday

Posted on 18 October 2013 by WNST Staff

Game 6 Navy (3-2) at Toledo (3-3, 2-1 Mid-American)
Date and Kickoff Oct. 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm ET
Location Toledo, Ohio | Glass Bowl (26,248)
Television ESPNews
TV Talent Ryan Ruocco (play-by-play), Pete Najarian (analyst)


Setting the Stage

• Navy and Toledo will meet for the fourth time on the gridiron when they square off on Saturday at the Glass Bowl (26,248) in Toledo at 12 noon.
• Saturday’s game will be televised by ESPNews with Ryan Ruocco (play-by-play) and Pete Najarian (color) on the call.

Scouting Toledo
• Toledo owns a deceiving 3-3 record with losses to Florida (24-6), Missouri (38-23) and Ball State (31-24), who are a combined 16-3 (.842) on the year.  Missouri is 6-0 and ranked No. 14 in the country, Florida is 4-2 and ranked No. 22 and Ball State is 6-1, which includes a three-touchdown victory over Virginia.
•    Toledo’s wins include Eastern Washington, who won the FCS National Championship a year ago and defeated Oregon State (the Beavers’ only loss this year) in the season opener, and blowout victories over Central and Western Michigan.
•    The Toledo offense is led by one of the top running backs in college football, senior David Fluellen.  Fluellen has rushed for 846 yards and nine touchdowns on 129 carries.  He ranks third in the country in rushing touchdowns and is fifth in rushing yards per game (141.0).
•    Quarterback Terrance Owens has completed 103 of 169 pass attempts (.609) for 999 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions.  He is completing 60.9 percent of his passes.  Owens’ favorite target is Bernard Reedy, who has 43 catches for 413 yards and two touchdowns.  Reedy ranks 14th in the country in receptions per game.
•    The Toledo offensive line has given Owens all day to throw as it ranks No. 1 in the country in pass sacks allowed, giving up just three sacks in six games.
•    The Toledo defense is led by junior linebacker Junior Sylvestre and sophomore linebacker Trent Voss.  Sylvestre has recorded 59 tackles, three tackles for a loss, recovered three fumbles and picked off a pass, while Voss has been in on 46 tackles with 3.5 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
•    The Rockets are ranked 12th nationally in turnovers gained (15), 24th in turnovers lost (seven) and eighth in turnover margin (+1.3).
Navy vs. THE MAC
•    Navy is 16-9 (.640) all-time against teams that are currently in the Mid-American Conference.
•    The Mids have had the most success against Kent State, posting a 5-0 record against the Golden Flash, while Ball State has given the Mids the most trouble, beating Navy in all thre meetings.

Mids Seek 4-2 Start For First Time Since 2010
• Navy is looking to start its season with a 4-2 record for the first time since 2010.
•    That year, the Mids started off with a disappointing 17-14 loss to Maryland and then, after edging Georgia Southern (13-7) and defeating Louisiana Tech (37-23), the Mids lost to Air Force, 14-6.  Navy, however, would bounce back to win seven of its final eight regular-season games including a 35-17 victory over Notre Dame and a 76-35 victory over East Carolina.  Navy lost the season finale in the Poinsettia Bowl, 35-14, to San Diego State.

Feast Or Famine
•    Over the last two years the Mids have posted an 11-7 (.611) record, going 8-5 in 2012 and 3-2 so far in 2013.
•    During that time period, the Mids are scoring 33.5 points per game in the 11 wins (369 points) and just 12.9 points in the seven losses (90 points).
•    The defense is allowing 17 points per game in the 11 wins (187 points) and 36.1 points per game in the seven losses (253 points).
•    The fewest points the Navy offense has scored in a win over the last two years is 17 against Army in 2012, while eight times the Mids have scored 28 or more.  Navy has scored 10 points or less in five of the seven losses over that same period.
•    The defense has given up 30 or more points in five of the seven losses, but just twice in the 11 wins.

Mids want To Pass On Their Own Terms    
• With Keenan Reynolds at quarterback, the Mids have wanted to go to the air more than they have in the past as Navy has not had a quarterback, outside of Ricky Dobbs, who can throw it as well as Reynolds.
• With that being said, the Mids still want to pass on their own terms and not be forced to throw when the defense is expecting it.  Navy still must have success running the football to make the passing game effective and in games where Navy is forced to throw, it has not had nearly as much success.
• Dating back to 2003, Navy is 18-1 (.947) when throwing the ball 0-5 times in a game and 43-13 (.768) when throwing the ball 6-10 times in a game.  As a whole, they are 61-14 (.813) when throwing the ball 10 or fewer times.
•    Conversely, Navy is 25-33 (.431) when throwing the ball 11 times or more, including a 5-13 (.278) mark when throwing the ball 16 times or more.

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Navy/Toledo kickoff time announced

Posted on 19 June 2013 by WNST Staff

TOLEDO, OH – The University of Toledo announced kickoff times for all its home football games for the 2013 season today. The home opener vs. Eastern Washington on Saturday, Sept. 14 will kick off at 7:00 p.m., as will Saturdaymatchups vs. Navy on Oct. 19 and Eastern Michigan on Nov. 2. The Homecoming game vs. Western Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 5 is slated to begin at 3:00 p.m.

The Rockets will host two mid-week games in November, vs. Buffalo on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU or ESPN3), and vs. Northern Illinois on Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 8:00 p.m. (ESPN2). Game times for contests at Florida (Aug. 31), Missouri (Sept. 7), Bowling Green (Oct. 26) and Akron (Nov. 29) will be announced later.

Toledo is coming off a 9-4 season in 2012 (7-1 MAC), its third straight winning campaign and third consecutive year appearing in a bowl game. The Rockets return six All-MAC players, including senior wide receiver/returner Bernard Reedy (88 receptions, four TDs off returns) and senior running back David Fluellen (1,498 yards rushing).

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