NCAA Game Summary - Coppin State vs. Mount St. Mary's
(Tuesday, March 18th)
Final Score: Mount St. Mary's 69, Coppin State 60
Dayton, OH (Sports Network) - Jeremy Goode scored 21 points, as Mount St. Mary's got its first NCAA Tournament win, beating Coppin State, 69-60, in the opening-round game.
Chris Vann had 13 points and Shawn Atupem 10 for the Mountaineers (19-14), who advanced to become the 16th seed in the East region and will face the overall number one seed, North Carolina, on Friday in Raleigh.
"I grew up a Carolina fan," Goode said. "I guess it means a lot to play against them because you watch them growing up and then you step on the court against them, it's like 'whoa'. I envisioned myself playing for you as a kid. To play against them now, it means a lot."
Kelly Beidler had seven points and 15 rebounds for Mount St. Mary's, which trailed by as many as nine in the first half before rallying and then pulling away over the final four minutes.
"It was just relief that we punched that 9 to 5 and to know that we did our job successfully and we got the win," Beidler said. "It just felt good to say we actually won an NCAA Tournament game."
Mount St. Mary's, the Northeast Conference title winner, is making its first appearance in the NCAA tourney since 1999 and third overall. The Mountaineers were also No. 16 seeds in their two other times in the tournament. In 1995, they lost to Kentucky, 113-67, while in 1999, Mount St. Mary's fell to Michigan State, 76-53.
Tywain McKee scored 15 points and Antwan Harrison 14 for the Eagles (16-21), who came into the opening-round game as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament champions. It was Coppin State's fourth appearance in the tournament, and its first since 1997, when the Eagles shocked second-seeded South Carolina in the first round, before losing to Texas in the second round.
"It was a great experience to have an opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament," Harrison said. "They call it the opening round, but what we came through to get in the NCAA tournament, you can't take that away from us. We appreciate the opportunity to be here."
Mike Miller scored 11 in a losing cause, as Coppin State blew a 29-20 first- half advantage. The Eagles shot 53.3 percent from the field in the first half, but went 9-of-27 in the final 20 minutes.
Coppin State was ahead by a point at the half, but immediately lost the edge when Will Holland opened the second stanza with a three-pointer. McKee's three-pointer moved the Eagles ahead again at 47-44 with 13:26 left, but the Mountaineers went in front for good by scoring the next nine points.
Atupem's jumper put Mount St. Mary's in the lead, and Markus Mitchell's layup capped the burst with 9:19 remaining.
McKee's jumper had Coppin State within 57-55 with 6:55 to go, and down 58-55, the Eagles failed on two chances to tie the game as A'Daeron Duncan and Julian Conyers both missed shots from beyond the arc.
That was the impetus of the Mountaineers' seven-point run that put the game out of reach. Beidler's jam with 3:51 left keyed the push and Vann's two free throws culminated the flurry for a 64-55 difference with 1:25 left.
This is the first time the Mountaineers are in the NCAA Tournament without coach Jim Phelan, who led the team to the 1962 Division II championship. Phelan, who retired in 2003 after 49 seasons and 830 victories, gave way to Milan Brown, now in his fifth season as Mountaineers coach.
"The guys will enjoy tonight," Brown said. "My staff will start thinking about (North Carolina) now. We already have some film broken down. We were just confident we would have an opportunity to continue to play, and we wanted to make sure we were prepared for the situation and that's what we need to do as a staff."
Coppin State opened the year with a miserable 4-19 record, but caught fire the rest of the way, winning 12 of its next 13 games, including four straight to defy the odds as conference tourney champs. The Eagles started Tuesday's game with a quick 6-0 lead and the Mountaineers didn't get their first field goal until Vann's three-pointer with 16:33 left in the half.
A dunk by Duncan expanded Coppin State's lead to 29-20 with 5:13 remaining in the half, but the Mountaineers rallied and closed the gap to 34-33 at the break with Vann's three-ball in the final minute representing the closing bucket.
"Even though we got off to that hot start, and I recognize that's very important, the biggest worry was having our guys contribute off the bench offensively with the type of game that it was with both teams getting up and down the floor," Coppin State coach Ron "Fang" Mitchell said. "Fatigue was something that I worried about. I think we ran into those situations where we didn't get the energy we needed."
The Mountaineers are 4-0 all-time against the Eagles, but before Tuesday they hadn't played each other since both teams joined the Division I level. The last meeting was during the 1984-85 season when the Mountaineers defeated the Eagles, 75-68...Robert Pressey had nine points, 10 boards and four blocks before fouling out for Coppin State...The Mountaineers shot 34.5 percent, compared to 43.9 for the Eagles...However, MSM hit 26-of-32 foul shots, compared to 6-of-13 for Coppin State.
03/19 00:00:26 ET
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