DSU lets lead slip away in 64-60 MEAC loss to Coppin

DOVER — The Delaware State University men’s basketball team seemed destined for its first conference win based on Monday’s first half.
The second half, however, was a different story.

The Hornets let a double-digit lead slip away and fell 64-60 to Coppin State in a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference contest. It was the second straight MEAC loss for the Hornets (3-12 overall, 0-2 MEAC).

Delaware State only scored two points in the first seven minutes of the second half.

Coppin State did not lead until Kent Auslander’s jumper with 15:16 left in the game put the Eagles on top 30-29. The Hornets battled back to take the lead but Coppin State answered and went up by 12 on Lamar Morgan’s three with 3:14 to go.

DelState was up by 10 in the first half and led 27-21 at halftime.

“You got to put 40 minutes together,” said first-year DSU coach Eric Skeeters. “We had a decent 19 minutes in the first half. Then they made their run and got momentum. We went to our bench to try to get a lift and we didn’t get it. We’ve got to stop playing in spurts and play together for 40 minutes.”

Despite trailing by 12 with less than three minutes, the Hornets were able to make it a one-possession game thanks to an 11-2 run. Jonathan Mitchell’s layup brought Delaware State within 58-55 with 35 seconds left.

Coppin State made its free throws to seal it, going 9-of-11 from the line in the final two minutes. Dejaun Clayton led the Eagles with 23 points and went 11-of-14 on his free throw attempts, including six in a row to ice the game.

Kevin Larkin was Delaware State’s top scorer with 18 points and earned a double-double with 13 rebounds. Ameer Bennett and Pinky Wiley each added 11 points for the Hornets.

Delaware State shot 33 percent from the floor and was hampered by a 3-of-15 mark in the second half on its three-pointer attempts.
“They took us out of what we wanted to do,” Skeeters said. “OK so how do we attack that? We got to work on that in practice.”

Coppin State had entered MEAC play 0-13, the only winless Division I team. But the Eagles have won their first two conference games.

While it was a game the Hornets expected to win, Skeeters hopes his team can grow from it.

“We’re still on the same learning curve,” Skeeters said. “We’ve got to make the adjustments.”

WOMEN, Coppin State 71, Delaware State 57: The Hornets were outscored 23-12 in the fourth quarter as Coppin State earned its first win of the season.

DelState dropped to 0-2 in MEAC play and 2-11 overall. Coppin State moved to 1-1 in the MEAC and 1-13 overall.

NaJai Pollard paced the Hornets with 21 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double. Lanayja Ashe finished with 13 points and seven rebounds.

Alycea Sharpe added eight points and 10 rebounds for Delaware State.

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