|Murray Leads Coppin State To Victory Over Bethune-Cookman||< All News|
|Tuesday, March 11, 2014|
NORFOLK, Va. --- Michael Murray scored a game-high 24 points to lead four players in figures as Coppin State defeated Bethune Cookman, 75-68 in the opening round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference at the Norfolk Scope.
The Eagles (11-19), the Number 7 seed, advance to the quarterfinal round against Hampton, the Number 2 seed at 8 pm.
Coppin State set the tone early, jumping out to a 6-0 lead before the Wildcats (7-25), the Number 10 seed, settled down to make it a tight contest through most of the first half. Murray, a first team All-MEAC selection, led all scorers with 16 first half points on five of six shooting, including three of four from three-point range while reserve Arnold Fripp added 12 points, making all five of his shots from the field.
“Michael is an athlete that everybody would love to have,” said Coppin State head coach Ron “Fang” Mitchell. “He’s in there scoring and rebounding. He contributed an awful lot today. His play got us going.”
Clemmye Owens led Bethune-Cookman with 14 points and the Wildcats were able to stay close due to its 18-8 points-in-the-paint advantage. Coppin State led, 40-37 at the intermission.
In the second half, Coppin State would get a push, but each time the Wildcats would respond. Owens began to get help from Troy Simmons and Maurice Taylor as the trio combined for 26 second half points.
But Coppin spread the wealth and while Murray continued to score points, Daquan Brickhouse, Gary Dallas and Sterling Smith proved to be too much.
“It was a tough game,” said Bethune-Cookman coach Gravelle Craig. “They really shot the ball well and their rebounding really hurt us down the stretch. A few loose balls that they got to was the key that changed the game.”
In addition to Murray’s 24, Fripp ended up with 16 off the bench while Brickhouse and Gary finished with 12 and 10, respectively.
Owens paced Bethune Cookman with 22, Maurice Taylor with a double double of 18 points and 14 rebounds and Mikel Trapp with 14.
Hampton swept the Eagles this season, including an overtime win at Coppin late in the season.
“We played them twice this year and they have a lot of players over there,” commented Mitchell.
“Offensively we're going to have to work hard and we have to get stops on defense.”