GAME NOTES: The first round of the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference Tournament
continues on Tuesday afternoon, as the ninth-seeded Coppin State Eagles tangle
with the eighth-seeded Bethune-Cookman Wildcats at Norfolk Scope Arena.
The winner will advance to the quarterfinals on Wednesday to face off against
No. 1 seed Norfolk State.
Coppin State's season has been far from impressive, as it has gone just 8-23
overall and finished the MEAC campaign at 5-11, but it is carrying some
momentum into this tournament, as it won three of its final four games to
close out the regular season.
Bethune-Cookman has only been slightly better than Coppin State this season at
12-19 overall and 7-9 in conference, and it is trending in the opposite
direction with three consecutive losses. The Wildcats have advanced to the
semifinals in this tournament in two straight years, including a championship
game appearance in 2012.
Coppin State has dominated the all-time series with Bethune-Cookman, 45-11,
which includes a 69-61 triumph in each team's regular-season finale in
Baltimore on March 7. The Eagles carried a seven-point lead into halftime and
never trailed after that, shooting 45.3 percent from the field on the night.
Michael Murray stuffed the stat sheet for the victors with 16 points, 14
rebounds and five assists. Andre Armstrong had 15 points, Collin Johnson
chipped in 14 points, and Taariq Cephas added nine points, seven assists and
five rebounds. As for the Wildcats, Kevin Dukes led all scorers with 18
points, Adrien Coleman poured in 15 points, and Javoris Bryant tallied a
double-double with 12 points and 11 boards.
On the season, Coppin State has not been impressive at either end of the
floor, scoring just 63.1 ppg while surrendering more than 70 ppg. Murray is
one of the MEAC's top forwards, putting up 12.3 ppg and 9.0 rpg. Armstrong
nets 11.8 ppg while ranking second in the league in 3-pointers made (70), and
Patrick Cole also puts up double figures with 10.3 ppg.
Meanwhile, Bethune-Cookman also has difficulty stopping foes from scoring,
allowing 67.4 ppg, but it benefits from having the league's fourth-ranked
scoring offense (66.2 ppg). The Wildcats' are led by All-MEAC First Team
selection Coleman, who is the conference's top scorer with 17.6 ppg on greater
than 54 percent efficiency from the field, adding 7.1 rpg, 2.9 apg and 1.4 spg
for good measure. Dukes is a solid complementary piece with 10.5 ppg.
Despite Bethune-Cookman owning the better record, Coppin State has been the
better team in recent weeks and proved to have the Wildcats' number in the
regular-season finale, which gives it a leg up in this first round matchup.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Coppin State 65, Bethune-Cookman 62