The Morgan State University Bears opened their Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference season on Dec. 4 with a hard-fought 70-64 win over crosstown rival Coppin State University at MSU’s Hill Field House in Baltimore.
The win improved Morgan State’s record to 3-4 overall and 1-0 in the MEAC. The win also marked the sixth consecutive victory for Morgan State against Coppin.
Coppin State (2-3 overall, 0-1 MEAC) entered the game focused on stopping Morgan State junior star Kevin Thompson, one of the top post players in the country. But it was sophomore forward DeWayne Jackson who caused a ruckus for Coppin, scoring a game-high 24 points.
Thompson entered the contest averaging 14 points and 10 rebounds per game, but was limited to a season-low seven points and eight rebounds. Fortunately for Morgan State, Jackson came up big, along with or junior swingman Aric Brooks who finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.
Brooks helped MSU hold off a second-half surge from Coppin State. Morgan held a 45-32 lead at halftime, but the Eagles cut the score to 59-58 at one point in the second half.
“I’m happy about the win,” Brooks said, “but we should’ve finished the game off better. You got to be able to keep your foot on the opponent’s neck. We let them get back into the game. But we finished the game by hitting free throws, hitting key shots and making key steals.”
Coppin State junior forward Hakeem Ellis led his team with 20 points in the loss, while guard Tony Gallo followed with 17 points and six assists.
Morgan is off for two weeks during final exams and will not take to the court again until Dec. 18 when they host University of Maryland Baltimore County at Hill Field House. Coppin State will see its next action in a home game against the U.S. Naval Academy on Dec. 7 and another home matchup on Dec. 11 against West Virginia Tech.