Wiley paces Hornet men to MEAC win over Coppin State

DOVER — Pinky Wiley was as efficient as he’s been all year and the rest of the Delaware State men’s basketball team followed suit.

Wiley scored a game-high 25 points to lift the Hornets to their second Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference win of the year, 77-68 against Coppin State on Saturday. Delaware State improved to 2-4 in the MEAC and 3-17 overall.

Wiley finished the game 11-of-15 on his field goal attempts.

“I was just feeling it,” Wiley said. “There’s nothing that changed, I’ve just kept working, shooting the same shots that I’ve been shooting. It’s a credit to hard work.”

The Hornets shot just a hair under 50 percent as a team, going 32-of-65 from the floor for a 49.2 percent shooting margin.

Myles Carter came off the bench to score 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting. John Crosby added 14 points while Christopher Sodom scored eight points and was 4-of-5 on his field goal attempts.

“It’s been coming,” said DSU coach Eric Skeeters. “We’ve had 30-minute games, we’ve had 25-minute games, we’ve had 35-minute games, but we put it together for a full 40 minutes. Now we’ve got to bottle this up and embrace it. We’re showing what we’re capable of.”

The Hornets trailed by eight points midway through the first half but ended up with a 37-34 halftime advantage. Delaware State led for 25:21 and did not trail in the second half.

Ameer Bennett gave the Hornets the lead for good on a three with 16:48 remaining which broke a 39-39 tie. Wiley made a three of his own on the next possession before a two-handed dunk by Sodom capped an 8-0 Hornet run.

Coppin State (2-6 MEAC, 6-17) closed within three but Carter provided some more separation for the Hornets with a three-pointer followed by a floater in the paint.

Carter is seeing an uptick in minutes after an injury to starting guard L.J. Stansbury.

“I like what Pinky told him after the game, he said, ‘Myles, that’s in you. You’re not stepping up, you can do that all the time,’” Skeeters said. “We’re bringing it out of him, the sky is the limit. He was fearless out there.”

The home victory was a welcome sight for the Hornets after a tough road trip.

Delaware State dropped back-to-back games in North Carolina last weekend. The Hornets lost 72-45 to North Carolina Central and 82-67 North Carolina A&T but bounced back to start this homestand off with a win.

“Give these dudes credit, I love these guys,” Skeeters said. “The guys believe in each other and it showed today.”