It was not a pretty sight for Coppin State’s men’s basketball team in their first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) action this season. Coppin struggled on defense and lost at home to the Howard Bison, 70-60, on Jan. 5 in Coppin’s Physical Education Complex in Baltimore, Md.
Coppin State turned the ball over early and often in the first half. On the first couple of possessions, Coppin State (3-13 overall, 0-1 MEAC) committed shot clock violations due to the defense of the Bison. Howard took advantage of it jumping off to a 23-14 advantage on a couple of Brandon Ford free throws with 4:33 left.
The second half started with a major scare for Howard. HU senior point guard and team captain Calvin Thompson was driving to the hoop when Coppin sophomore guard Taariq Cephas fouled him hard, causing Thompson to land wrong and dislocate his ankle. Thompson was on the floor for a little over 10 minutes while both Howard and Coppin sports medicine people among others attended to him. Thompson was picked up and taken out by wheelchair to applause by everyone in attendance at the PEC.
But despite the scary injury to their captain, Howard still could not be stopped when it came to making mid-range shots. Every time Coppin attempted a charge, the Bison’s mid-range game provided an answer.
Howard maintained control of the game midway through the second half, leading by as much as 16 points at 51-35 with 9:35 left. They went on to capture the win, snapping a four-game losing funk.
“Calvin is our leader, our captain,” said Howard sophomore guard Brandon Ford. “We all feed off him. He is the heart and soul of this team. When he went down, it affected all of us. But we pulled it together and won this game for him.”
Coppin head coach Fang Mitchell said he wasn’t pleased with the way his team played in the game.
“They didn't come out hungry enough,” Mitchell said. The intensity level is not to the level it's going to be at to be able to win games in the MEAC. ”