NCCU upends Coppin State for 6th straight win, now 5-0 MEAC
N.C. Central had four players score in double figures and got 13 assists from point guard Emanuel Chapman in an 84-75 win over visiting Coppin State Saturday night.
Coppin State kept hanging around at McDougald-McLendon Gymnasium before NCCU (12-7, 5-0 MEAC) finally put it away for its sixth straight win.
NCCU remains unbeaten in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play.
NCCU coach LeVelle Moton said Coppin State (5-16, 2-4 MEAC) is dangerous because of its ability to spread the floor and create mismatches.
Coppin State had three players in double figures, led by Andre Armstrong’s game-high 28 points.
“They had five guards in the game, so you’ve kind of got to pick your poison,” Moton said. “But our thing was we were going to make them adjust to us.”
Instead of pulling NCCU forward Jay Copeland (6-7, 255) out of the game with all of those guards running around, Moton left him on the floor and dared Coppin State to deal with the man in the middle.
Copeland had 17 points, some of those baskets on clean looks after NCCU worked the ball around.
“It was by design,” Moton said.
“Those were set plays,” NCCU guard Jeremy Ingram agreed.
“They were backdoor-ing us, and we weren’t where we were supposed to be on the help side,” Coppin State coach Fang Mitchell said. “We made a lot of mental mistakes early, and it turned the game around.
“Too many easy baskets through turnovers that really weren’t forced.”
Ingram (19 points) said NCCU’s defense was pretty good and triggered the team’s offense.
NCCU scored 28 points off turnovers.
Moton has been preaching the need to give the big guys more touches in the paint, and the offensive production of NCCU’s Stanton Kidd (15 points) created open looks down low, Copeland said.
Kidd was busy on the glass, too, pulling down a game-high nine rebounds in front of a cheering section that included his parents, in town from Baltimore.
“Coach was telling me that every time I made a spectacular play I’d look at them,” Kidd said. “He was just kind of telling me to stay in the game.”
Kidd said NCCU had Coppin State on the ropes several times but didn’t put them away. NCCU has to learn how to deliver the knockout blow, Kidd said.
The home crowd gave NCCU a lift toward the end of the game after a controversial call went Coppin State’s way.
Chapman motioned to the crowd to make some noise and got the desired response.
“We’ve got the best crowd in the MEAC,” Chapman said. “They’re here, so we want them to get involved.”
Last season, there were a whole lot more empty seats in McDougald-McLendon, and Chapman said he understands that.
“Our attendance is up,” Chapman said. “It’s a give-take. We give them something to come watch, and they’re going to come out.”
The crowd watched NCCU senior Ray Willis (20 points) get up in the air and lean toward the rim for a nasty dunk.
Willis, long and lean at 6-foot-6, 164 pounds, flexed his muscles and let out a yell after that.
“You just get lost in the game,” Willis said. “We love it. This is the reason why we play, for the passion.”
Six wins in a row and an undefeated run so far through the MEAC can elicit that effect.
|N.C. CENTRAL 84, COPPIN STATE 75|
Percentages: FG .439, FT .850. 3-Point Goals: 8-24, .333 (Armstrong 6-10, Cole 2-7, Ieans 0-1, Murray 0-2, C. Johnson 0-2, Cephas 0-2). Team Rebounds: 4. Blocked Shots: 1 (Murray). Turnovers: 20 (Armstrong 4, Cole 3, Cephas 3, Murray 3, Smith 2, C. Johnson 2, Adjei 2, Ieans). Steals: 8 (Armstrong 4, Murray, Ieans, Cole, C. Johnson). Technical Fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .552, FT .778. 3-Point Goals: 6-22, .273 (Willis 3-7, Ingram 2-7, Kidd 1-1, Galaya 0-1, Ferguson 0-1, Chapman 0-5). Team Rebounds: 5. Blocked Shots: 0. Turnovers: 16 (Chapman 4, Kidd 4, Ingram 4, Galaya, Houston, Copeland, Ferguson). Steals: 12 (Ingram 6, Chapman 3, Houston, Kidd, Willis). Technical Fouls: None.
A—2,108. Officials—Frankie Bordeaux, Tony Means, Julius Terrell.