NORFOLK, Va. – No. 10 seed Coppin State jumped on No. 7 seed Morgan State out of the gate on Tuesday in women’s first-round action and then cruised to a 71-56 win over the Bears at the Norfolk Scope Arena.
The Lady Eagles (7-21) advance to Wednesday’s quarterfinal against No. 2 seed Savannah State at 2:30 p.m.
“I think our ladies did a fantastic job today. That might’ve been the best game we played all year,” Coppin State head coach Derek Brown said. “We changed our defense and gave them something I don’t think anybody had seen this year. We also played good offense. We were patient a lot of times, and then we’d hit the open person.”
Jordan Swails led five Coppin State players in double figures with 16 points, while Bria Harris and Janelle Lane each added 13 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Amber Griffin also scored 13 points, while Genesis Lucas poured in 11 points.
Coppin State shot 44.2 percent (23-for-52) from the floor and hit five of its nine 3-pointers. The Lady Eagles also went 20-for-24 (83.3 percent) from the free throw line and held a 42-36 advantage in rebounding.
The Lady Eagles opened the game with a 19-3 run – a span in which Morgan State went 1-for-7 from the floor and committed six turnovers. A jumper from Tanaysa Henderson with 11:26 left in the first half gave Coppin State a 23-7 lead, matching the Lady Eagles’ largest lead of the half.
“I think it helped us a lot,” Griffin said of the early lead. “We got our confidence up, that’s what we needed. We lost twice to Morgan (State) this season. We kind of came in with a chip on our shoulder. We didn’t want to lose to our rival, not three times.”
Coppin State later led 27-15 after a free throw from Harris, but the Lady Eagles went from the 7:45 mark to 45 seconds left without a field goal – and Morgan State went on a 16-4 run to close to within 31-28 at the 1:48 mark after a trey from Tracey Carrington.
A layup from Swails with 45 seconds left ended that run, and Coppin State led 35-28 at the half.
Swails and Harris each had nine points at the break to lead the Lady Eagles.
Coppin State opened the second half with an 11-6 spurt, taking a 46-34 lead with 13:57 left to play after Omaah Tayong converted a 3-point play. Swails added a layup at the 12:27 mark to give the Lady Eagles a 48-37 lead.
The Lady Bears cut Coppin State’s lead to 51-43 with 11:05 left in the contest on a layup from Tykyrah Williams, but the Lady Eagles responded with a 10-1 run, taking a 61-44 lead with 7:40 remaining after a 3-pointer from Griffin.
Morgan State (11-17) shot 27.3 percent (18-for-66) from the floor and made just two of 16 3-pointers.
Spears led the Lady Bears with 14 points. Carrington and Williams each had 12 points.