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Coppin State 75, Bethune-Cookman 68

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NORFOLK, Va. — Seventh-seeded Coppin State sped off on a 7-0 run inside the final two minutes to snap a 68-68 tie and defeat No. 10 Bethune-Cookman 75-68 in the first round of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament on Tuesday night at the Scope.

A free throw by forward Dallas Gary with 1:48 left gave the Eagles a 69-68 lead. Guard Daquan Brickhouse followed with a turnaround jumper in the lane and guard Sterling Smith nailed a baseline 3-pointer to send Coppin State into the quarterfinals. The Eagles will face No. 2 seed Hampton on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Bethune-Cookman guard Clemmye Owens made a steal at midcourt and went in for a layup with 2:13 left that made it 68-68, but the Wildcats would not score again.

Owens finished with 22 points and guard Maurice Taylor added 18 for Bethune-Cookman (7-25).

Coppin State guard Michael Murray led all scorers with 21 points and forward Arnold Fripp added 16 points and 10 rebounds.

It was the Murray show early. The Coppin State guard opened the game with a mid-range jumper and went on to score 16 of his team’s first 20 points, including 14 in a row.

The Eagles expanded their lead to as many as 10, but Owens led a spirited late charge that got the Wildcats to within two points at the half.

Owens converted turnovers into back-to-back fast-break layups inside the final 90 seconds, and a layup by forward Allan Dempster with 25 seconds left sent Bethune-Cookman into the break trailing 40-37.

Murray’s 16 first-half points led Coppin State, which shot 58.8 percent from the field. But Coppin State also committed nine turnovers that Bethune-Cookman turned into 11 points.

Owens scored 15 first-half points to lead Bethune-Cookman.

NOTES: Before the game, Coppin State senior G Michael Murray was honored at midcourt after being selected to the All-MEAC first team. … The game was a rematch of a first-round encounter in last year’s MEAC tournament in which Bethune-Cookman prevailed 89-78. The two teams did not face each other this season. … Coppin State made at least 10 3-pointers in nine games.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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