Coppin State's Late Basket Hands Mids 65-64 Setback
Dec. 7, 2010
BALTIMORE, Md. -- Akeem Ellis scored on a rebound putback with 6.7 seconds left to give Coppin State a see-saw 65-64 victory on Tuesday night in Baltimore. The loss ended Navy's three-game winning streak away from Annapolis and dropped the Midshipmen to 4-7 overall. Coppin State improved to 3-3 overall.
Moments earlier, Navy had taken a 64-63 lead on a layup on an inbounds play by freshman J.J. Avila (McAllen, Texas). The Mids then forced an off-balance three-pointer on the defensive end, but Ellis grabbed the rebound and floated a shot from the baseline that found the bottom of the net with 6.7 seconds left. O.J. Avworo (Sr. / Houston, Texas) had a shot at the end, but his runner in the lane was off the mark and Navy lost its first game away from Alumni Hall since Nov. 21.
"We just didn't play the way we needed to play tonight. From a leadership standpoint and communication standpoint, it wasn't where it needed to be," said Navy head coach Billy Lange. "You have to give Coppin credit, too. They played great in getting back in the game."
The Mids broke out of the gates early, grabbing an 18-5 lead eight minutes into the contest. However, the Eagles answered with a 15-2 run over four minutes to tie the game at 20. Coppin State would settle in for a 36-32 halftime lead. After starting the game 2-of-9 from the field, the Eagles finished the first half by making 11 of their last 14 shots and shooting 56.5 percent (13-of-23) from the field.
Coppin State would bump the lead to 10 at 46-36 and would still lead 51-43 with 10:05 to play, when Navy started to rally, using an 11-0 run to take a 54-51 advantage with 7:03 to play. Navy would still lead 57-53 with four minutes to play and had two chances to push the lead to seven on three-pointers by Jordan Sugars (Jr. / Winchester, Va.) and Greg Brown (Sr. / Waldorf, Md.) that went in-and-out.
"We're tough and we are going to hang in there and give it all we got. We did that in the second half when we made our runs," said Lange. "I'm a true believer in the basketball gods. I feel this game ended the way it should have ended. The one rebound we needed, we didn't get. We can take a lot from this game. We did a lot of good things tonight, but not enough. The maturity you need to play 40 minutes as a basketball team, we didn't have tonight."
Coppin then answered with an 8-2 run of its own for a 61-59 lead to set up the wild finish. Avila buried a three-pointer with 1:13 to play for a 62-61 lead, but Vince Goldsberry answered with a long jumper to regain the lead for the Eagles. Avila reclaimed the lead for Navy, but Coppin answered with the game's final basket for the one-point victory, 65-64.
Navy shot just 22-of-58 (.379) from the field and went 10-of-29 (.345) from three-point range. The Mids made 10-of-15 (.667) free throw attempts, were guilty of 11 turnovers and were outrebounded, 38-32. Coppin State, meanwhile, shot 24-of-53 (.453) from the field, 9-of-25 (.360) from three-point range and 8-of-11 (.727) from the free throw line. Navy forced 17 Eagle miscues, but only turned the 17 turnovers into 12 points.
Brown led four players in double figures with 14 points and a team-high seven rebounds. He went 4-of-7 from three-point range. Sugars added 12 points and six rebounds, while Isaiah Roberts (Fr. / Pennsauken, N.J.) had 11 points and Avila had 10.
Ellis led Coppin State with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
Navy concludes its four-game roadswing with a Friday night tilt at Mercer in Macon, Ga., beginning at 7:00 pm. The game will be aired by WNAV (1430 AM) radio with Pete Medhurst handling the call, beginning with the pregame show at 6:45 pm.
# GO NAVY #